We’ve made it through the first half of the first month of a new year and I’ve yet to break any of my resolutions. It’s easy to do, especially when you don’t make any.
I used to a Resolutioner. I would boldly list all the things I was and wasn’t going to do in the new year. Once the ball dropped in Times Square I could then start to become the person I really wanted myself to be. But the initial euphoria eventually became work, and I eventually turned back into what I was on December 31st.
This doesn’t say much about my resolve, especially since I am an avid goal setter and achiever in many areas of my life.
Looking back, resolutions, to me, were simply fragmented independent ideas that were never a part of the big picture of my life. They were things that would be nice to achieve but really weren’t worth fighting for. At some point, resolutions tend to become a fight, a fight usually with yourself.
I’ve found that creating any significant lasting change in life requires a deeper context. There needs to be a concrete reason, a fundamental motivation resonating from within our core which drives us to fight on through even when we tell ourselves it’s probably time to quit. An hour on a treadmill gets old real quick when the only goal is to spend an hour on a treadmill. Resolutions that lack depth lack sustainability.
“Enough already with the stuff that doesn’t enhance who you really are.”
These words from Oprah Winfrey really struck a chord with me. Her words create a new paradigm, a different way to evaluate the choices that I make. Oprah’s words challenge me to know who I really am, and in doing so further challenge me to look at all aspects of my life through an evaluative lense of if and how my thoughts, words, activities, and the world around me enhance who it is I really am.
In many ways, new year’s resolutions often feel like Black Friday morning at Walmart. The initial excitement and adrenaline rush eventually fades away when it becomes work, when you’re standing in the checkout line for an hour. But this thought process, the idea of rooting your life choices based upon their ability to enhance who it is you are, provides the perfect context for lasting change.
Decisions evaluated within the context of how they will enhance who you really are create the experiences that truly enhance who it is you really are.
Here’s to our collective happiness in 2012!
It’s a great day to be you!