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Why setting New Year Resolutions is a Really Bad Idea

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new_year2012 is almost ending and the holiday season knocks on our door. It’s a great moment to review the main events of the passing year and think about what’s coming up for 2013.

Out With the Old and In With the New

A new year means a new chance. It marks the end of a cycle in our lives and the beginning of a new one. We believe that if last year was not as good as expected, the new year will break the bad luck.

So it’s no surprise then that many people set ambitious goals for the year to come. You get to hear promises like:

  • Next year I’ll quit smoking
  • Next year I’ll lose weight
  • Next year I’ll start working out more
  • Next year I’ll dedicate more time to the things I love
  • Next year I’ll travel around the world

The basic underlying idea is: Next year I’ll do everything I’ve been postponing or failing to achieve this year.

But Why Do Most of the New Year Resolutions Never Get Accomplished?

There are several reasons for that. I have listed the most common ones below. Becoming aware of these mistakes will help you avoid them from now on.

1. The Goal is Not Yours

Are you sure that what you desire is not in fact what someone else intends for you?

You may believe you want to accomplish this and that, but before formulating any resolutions, please take a moment to think if it’s actually your desire too.

Analyze why you want each resolution. Is it because you think you should achieve it? Did someone else suggest it would be a good idea? Are you perhaps influenced by peer group pressure or society?

As long as “your wish” is someone else’s advice, your chances of accomplishing it are virtually equal to zero. How can you possibly get something which you don’t really want? You lack the necessary determination and motivation.

This is frequently the case of health and fitness resolutions. People who claim they want to lose weight or quit smoking rarely succeed, because they do it mostly being influenced by someone else’s opinion.

They know their habit is bad for their health and they should change it. Many think it’s their goal, when in fact it isn’t. It’s just something nice to have.

2. You are not ready for your goal

Several years ago around New Year, I’ve been introduced to a powerful concept. It has changed they in which way I approach my plans for each coming year and dramatically improved my results.

The idea is that when pursuing their goals most of the people follow this pattern:

Have –> Do –> Be

They wish to GET something (i.e. more money), so that they can DO what they have always dreamed of (i.e. travel around the world) and in the end BE who they want to (i.e. a free person).

This pattern can be applied to most of the goals and intentions people have. And it’s also the one which leads to bitter failure. Why? Because you are simply unable to draw into your life something which you do not resonate with. That’s just not the way things work.

A much better approach is the reversed one:

Be –> Do –> Have

All changes must come from within first, in order to create any corresponding effects on the outside. So, if you want to travel around the world and get the necessary money, the first step is to adopt the mindset of a free person. Otherwise, even if you do receive money, you will probably spend it for other purposes.

Your focus should be on becoming the person you will be once your goal is obtained. How would the new you think, speak and behave? A great tool to help you with this transformation are affirmations and you can read the article series on my blog for more details.

Once you become the new person you want to be, everything else can’t help but fall into place. You will effortlessly bring into your life any event or resource you need to sustain and encourage you in being more of who you already are.

3. Your Resolutions are Poorly Formulated

Believe it or not, the most successful resolutions are not the very specific ones. In fact, one of the least effective things you can do is set SMART goals.

The reason is simple: most of the resolutions will never be achieved when and how you want to. You need to prepare and allow yourself a lot of time. Most people will feel like failures when their deadline passes and they haven’t yet gotten what they wanted. Many can give up trying altogether.

This is why I really discourage formulating any resolutions and suggest adopting a different approach. I have been using it for about 4 years now (2013 would be the 5th) and it has produced spectacular results on a consistent basis. It’s tried and true.

Instead of resolutions, formulate a direction or motto for next year. Choose just one specific word, which contains everything you want to achieve and let it be the guideline for the entire year.

I’ll give you my personal examples so far: 2009 – balance; 2010 – wisdom; 2011 – success; 2012 – change. I’ve made a review after each of these years and got far better results compared to all previous years in which I’ve set resolutions.

Using this approach also leaves you open for new opportunities and even changes of plans. You will get even better and unexpected ways of accomplishing what you desire.

How to Choose Your Direction for Next Year

If you are unsure how to define your guiding motto, I will give you three equally effective approaches.

1. Use Inductive Reasoning

You probably already have a fairly good idea of what you want to obtain next year. You may have some goals in mind or just some wishes. That’s a great place to start.

You need to take each goal and find out what you will actually get by accomplishing it. Coin out the feeling behind the achievement and attach an abstract word to it.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you may do it because you’ll look better. Looking better will make you feel good and attractive. Feeling attractive will increase your self esteem and make you feel validated. Being validated leads to a heightened awareness of self worth. In this case “self worth” or even “awareness” would be good guidelines for the year.

Do this exercise for all major resolutions you have and only choose the motto after having discovered the common driving element behind each of them.

2. Follow Your Gut

Another approach is to simply follow the feeling you have at the end of the year. This is the method I like to use. When I think about next year, I instantly have a feeling that it will bring me renewal and expansion. I then use that word as my general direction.

This is a more intuitive method, but I have found it to be extremely effective. The motto you choose should cover all major areas of your life. Isolating each will only get you half results. Following this technique will lead to massive growth in the chosen direction, on all planes.

3. Use Numerology

For those of you who are open to trying alternative methods, I wholeheartedly encourage you to choose your direction in sync with you personal numerological year.

I came across numerology in 2010 (my year of wisdom :P). Upon studying the personal years, I’ve concluded to my surprise that they all matched the general directions I had chosen in the past.

Had I discovered numerology before using this method of setting my New Year Direction, I would have thought that maybe it was influencing my choices. But things happened the other way around and that proved to me the effectiveness of this approach.

Since then, I’ve been combining these two methods and found each time that numerology matches my desires. So I just use it as a confirmation that I am attuned to the universal forces.

If you are interested trying this approach, all you have to do is reduce the day and month of your birth and the current year to one digit (by adding each of the numbers up) and then making a sum, which gets reduced to a single digit too.

I’ll illustrate this using my personal example. I am born on April 27 and want to find out my personal year for 2013. The calculation I use will be the following:

Day of birth: 27 –> 2 + 7 = 9
Month of birth: 4 –> 4
Current year: 2103 –> 2 + 0 + 1 + 3 = 6

My personal year for 2013: 9 + 4 + 6 = 19 –> 1 + 9 = 10 –> 1 + 0 = 1
(always reduce each of the numbers to a single digit before each calculation)

So my personal year for 2013 will be 1. You can read more about personal years in numerology here or simply google your personal year.

Share Your Direction With Us

After reviewing my last year, I chose Expansion as my motto for 2013. What did you choose?

I encourage you to try this new approach instead of the setting the classical New Year Resolutions and share your direction with us in the comment section below. Let’s get inspired together for a better 2013.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May you have the most wonderful holidays together with your beloved ones.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Mihaela December 27, 2012, 11:06 pm

    I will choose 1 and 2 since I do not believe in numerology! :P

  • Daisa Catalina December 28, 2012, 1:55 am

    Great! Choose what suits you best. That’s why I’ve also given multiple options ;)

  • lumeainalbnegru December 28, 2012, 10:07 pm

    My motto for 2013 is “Organize”. :)

  • P. J. January 1, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Renewal. I just turned 65 on New Years day and I realized that I am rapidly enbracing societies view of me as ‘elderly’, This year I plan to quit listening to how others think I should think, feel, react, etc. and allow my authentic self to be in charge instead.

  • Daisa Catalina January 1, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Awesome motto, P.J. I initially thought of Renewal too, but after reviewing 2012 I felt that Expansion is more appropriate for me, though.
    May 2013 indeed bring out your authentic self in charge and renew your life.


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