Last month many of us made resolutions. Typically, we are not successful at meeting all our resolutions, but if we keep on trying with determination, are flexible, and take one step at a time, we can experience positive results. Then, when we master the skill of setting resolutions, we can make it into a year-long habit rather than something we do every once in a while.
As we grow, we will discover new things in us that need to improve and be nurtured. With self-growth, there is no perfection but a continuation of moving forward. In order to be successful with any type of resolution we make, we need to focus on our deeper aspects since mind, body, and life's circumstances are all interrelated when it comes to our health and prosperity.
Now, let's look at the to-do list for setting and achieving our resolutions.
To-do lists start with the coming out of denial and blaming others and turning the camera on us. With that in mind, the following steps may be useful:
- Take time each day (preferably a set time) to self-reflect. Ask yourself questions such as:
a. What is triggering me?
b. How am I feeling? How am I responding to my feelings?
c. How do I cope with issues that come up?
d. What do I like about me? What would I like to change about myself?
You can write the answers to these down, if that works for you, or you can start the process after meditation or prayer when your mind is calm and less biased.
- Stop any self-sabotaging behaviors. The only thing these do are limit your potential. If you are not sure about this, look back at your life and see how what you think is related to what you get. Self-sabotaging behaviors and thoughts also feed your insecurities. You may need to work on your self-discipline to be able to let go of these tendencies. There is a fine line between self-sabotaging behaviors versus honest and constructive self-criticism. Find that line and work with it.
- Take small steps to reach bigger ones. Become more productive, whether it is in your family, your work, your community, or elsewhere, and focus on quality not quantity. You don't have to take big steps to move up the ladder of self-growth. It is not how many hours you do something but what you do when you do it and how much heart and effort you put into it. Whether it is a small or large responsibility, don't commit to it until you know you can do it right. Also, with whatever projects you have before you it is time to just go ahead and get moving. If your mindset is in the right place, you will see that you have all you need to get started. And once you get to it, what you don't have will come to you. So, go ahead and proceed with your plan and your project. There has to be a balance between preparing and getting to work. Ask for help when you need it, and put your ego's fear on the backburner since it does not serve you and prevents you from asking for support when it is needed. Become the beaver within you and just do it.
- Believe in yourself, but try not to live in a fantasy world. If your dreams are reasonable and based on reality, not some form of fantasy, if you put enough effort into them, if you take it one step at a time, if you are patient with the process, and if you are willing to let yourself feel a sense of adventure with the process rather than winding yourself up with the worry about the outcomes, then you can materialize your dreams easier and faster. Learn to expand your horizons. Let go of the many conditioned ways of thinking that limit you. Explore new possibilities and know that all you need to make your dream into reality is self-confidence. Believe in who you are and don't let anything stand in your way. Don't take any rejections as a sign of failure but a tool to strengthen your character. Get ready for the ride and see how much you can learn each step of the way. If you remain focused and confident, success is waiting for you.
- Let go of any negativity, especially your anger. Whether a form of passive or active anger, it is doomed to hurt you and your surroundings. We all have challenges in life and this may be one of yours. The moment you learn to let go of your anger, you have opened a new door of experiencing joy for yourself. You just have to wait patiently for something new to reveal itself to you when the time is right. Anger can be a signal from within telling you that some part of you is out of balance. Maybe a part of you has been neglected and is crying out for attention and healing. Anger is a mask for inner wounds, fear, feelings of abandonment and rejection. Ask yourself, why am I feeling angry? Is it that you feel no one is listening to you or that you have no support? Whatever the case may be, welcome this anger as information. Respond to it and work to heal it. Do not neglect it anymore. Take time to think about your life, meditate, get educated on healing, and start the process. Move yourself from a place of inner chaos to a place of inner peace.
- Learn to express your individuality and let your true self shine. You aren't like anyone else, and that is what makes you special. Stop worrying about other people's acceptance and approval of you and celebrate your uniqueness. Listen to yourself and set your creativity free. If approval from others means that you hide your true self then question the need to seek that approval. Pretending is not going to be helpful to anyone, not you and not the people around you. And you cannot please everyone, especially those who are controlling and limited, and those who want you to live your life according to their needs, wants, and beliefs. Be your authentic self, value it and know that similar minded people will be attracted to you when you are being yourself.
- Have a healthy set of moral values. Your values need to be based on your own unique path in life and follow. This helps decrease unwanted forces coming to your life, limits your distractions, and helps you focus on what is important in your life and finding more meaning. It also helps you with you becoming more centered.
Roya R. Rad, MA, Psy.D.