• No one should be alone in this. We can help.
If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.                                                                            If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller's location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Advertisement

Main Menu
Sponsored Links
Donate to DF
Latest Forum Topics
No posts were found
Search

Find a Therapist
Powered by Good Therapy
Forum Admin  Forum Admin

Making New Year’s Resolutions Succeed

And enjoy the new year

 
Year after year, we make New Year’s resolutions that over time wither and fade into failed attempts to transform some aspect of our lives. The goals may range from health, exercise, relationships and finances all the way to spiritual and personal growth. The moment that we elect to make a significant change, we may begin to feel a bit of an endorphin rush as we fantasize what it would feel like. Yet, what begins with hopeful optimism gets swallowed into the basin of our life’s disappointments. Once again the high derived from the vision of change surrenders to the dulled resignation of the status quo.

It’s curious as to how we try to evoke change in the same way — year in and year out — with similar results. If we conducted a survey six months after the New Year and asked people about the success of their resolutions, we’d no doubt find an abysmal rate of failure. Our struggle with change is resoundingly stubborn and scant attention is devoted toward understanding why that’s the case. Let’s take a look.

 

Change begins as a thought, underscored by a wish or even stronger, an inspiration. This may set in motion an even stronger feeling, an intention. Most people find themselves somewhere within this continuum. Clearly, where you fall within that range is important toward the eventual outcome but nevertheless insufficient for an assurance of reaching your goal.

 

What typically prevents the success is the necessary commitment –- the vaulting into action -– that supports the transition. A number of years ago, on the occasion of my voicing a resolution —to get into shape and work out regularly—a dear friend asked me when I’d actually be doing that. I said, ” at least three times a week.” He responded with a ringing clarity, ” If it’s not in your calendar, day and time, you’re not committing to it.” He was quite right. The intention wasn’t enough.

It’s not uncommon to initiate the change, but over time we tend to retreat back into the old familiar zone and loosen our grip on the new progress. Sustaining change is most often more difficult than initiating it. This is because we haven’t fully committed to the progress. We make a bit of change, breathe a sigh of relief and give ourselves a break. And the change evaporates as we slide back into our familiar zone.

Old habits tend to die hard and the new behavior feels elusive. Our habitual patterns literally create a groove of thought, feeling and behavior. This is precisely where we get stuck. In order to disrupt our conformity to the past, we must intervene with a significant force, in which we embrace the change and nothing stands in the way. This requires embracing the disquiet of new behavior. We need to take the discomfort and make it our ally as we align with the new shift. A resolution isn’t enough; a turning point into new terrain is required with the necessary energy required to sustain it.

The commitment, if grounded in conviction, can lead to what I call a defining moment. It’s an instant in which we become so invested in the change we desire, that we commit to a turning point in our lives. We are in fact changed as of that moment. This is a defining moment in which we come to see ourselves differently, act upon it, and become transformed.

Willful Intention

The defining moment alters everything. It is the engine that drives the change. In order to access and sustain defining moments we need both the intention and the will. Let’s refer to this a willful intention. The resolution to change is the equivalent of the intention. But the willfulness is often lacking. Think of yourself at sea on a sailboat.  Setting the sail equals your intention to sail away. But you’re not going anywhere without some wind. The wind is evocative of your will. You need both the sail and the wind for movement. You require both will and intention to achieve your goals. Commit your thinking to embracing this willfulness and develop to discipline to reinforce it and you may succeed with your resolutions.

 

Please like my Facebook page to see quotes of the day, follow me on Twitter, join my LinkedIn network, and visit my blog, A Shift of Mind, for more information on how to receive my free eBook and DVD.

This Month In Pictures
JoyinBlue.jpg
Members Online
0 Users Online
Guests
Visible
No users online.
Follow Us On Twitter
Like Us On Facebook
Medical News
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Andertoon
Daily Toon Click to enlarge
ANDERTOONS.COM PSYCHIATRY CARTOONSPsychiatry Cartoonsby Andertoons
Tweets Liked by ~ Lindsay (@DepressionForum)
Depression Forums - A Depression & Mental Health Community Support Group
Copyright © 2014 The Depression Forums Incorporated - A Depression & Mental Health Social Community Support Group. All rights reserved.
The Depression Forums are intended to enable members to benefit from the experience of other members who have faced similar mental health issues by sharing their experiences.
* DF does NOT vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any posting or the qualifications of any person responding.
Use of the Forums is subject to our Terms Of Service (TOS) and forum guidelines which prohibit advertisements, solicitations or other commercial messages by members, or false, defamatory, abusive, vulgar, or harassing messages and may subject violators to be banned from the forums.
All postings reflect the views of the author but become the property of DepressionForums.org. Your personal information will never be shared with others.
If you have any questions on how it will be used, please see our our privacy policy.
Information supplied on Depression Forums should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.
* DF © is an acronym for DepressionForums.org