THE BLOG
12/30/2014 02:30 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2015

New Years Resolutions: How to Make Them to Stick

As we move into the end of 2014, and are getting ready to turn the calendar to 2015, many of us are thinking of our New Year's resolutions. In the back of many of our minds' is the awareness of all of the years that we set the resolutions but abandoned them as well.

How do we set a resolution and maintain it? How do we set a resolution and yet at the same time, not feel bound by it but free to live within it?

Most people make resolutions at the New Year because it marks a new beginning. Anyone who has made a commitment towards anything can attest that resolutions do not have to be made just at the turn of the calendar. In fact, the start of any day can be the start of a new resolution.

Making and sustaining the resolution is actually more emotional work than anything else. The more that we are feeling bound by, handcuffed to or jailed by a resolution, the greater the possibility exists that we will break it. We will find it too hard, too impossible, too crazy or outside of our scope to accomplish. This is when resolutions go by the wayside.

The opposite of this is to make resolutions that are softer emotionally. When we feel a sense of freedom and ease within our resolutions, we have a much greater possibility of completing them and actually holding onto the resolution as a new way of being.

This is simple to understand, but how does one apply it? It is simpler than most of us realize. The only reason it is hard, is because many times we are so hard on ourselves that to be emotionally soft or gentle with our own being is foreign to us that it seems harder to take this path!

For example, one of the more common resolutions that people have is to lose weight or exercise regularly. Most start this process out very logically. They may hire a trainer, join a gym, and plan to work-out three days a week. They may purchase a scale and discipline themselves to lose a certain number of pounds a week. There is a force to this approach from the outside to fix something that is construed as wrong.

As you may know or have experienced yourselves, this approach lasts about six to eight weeks on average, and them most people fall off this resolution feeling destitute and discouraged.

What if the approach taken was completely different? While pushing against the body, and looking for a number on a scale to validate the progress, we create resistance in the body. What if we took a very unconventional approach to the idea of the weight loss resolution? The first step would be to accept where we are now. Then, the next step would be to go to the gym from a place of gaining vitality, increasing oxygenation, feeling better, sensing endorphins in the body and so on. With this new attitude, the resistance drops off. And within this newer more novel approach, we are more likely to make it to the gym and eat the salad as well as walk more often. The drop off from this type of resolution would be completely different.

Similarly, you can shift any resolution that you are creating simply by changing the attitude, the words, and the emotional impact on yourself.

Welcome to 2015! Hopefully with these words in mind, any resolutions you set for January 1st or really any day of the year can be made from a different space. With this in mind, the possibilities are really endless!

Happy New Year!