Why (By Now) Most New Year's Resolutions Have Already Failed
In order to create a new beginning, there has to be an ending. There’s no getting around it, seriously, there’s not. As much as I’d like a paycheck to get deposited into my account, if I haven’t worked the hours necessary to get that paycheck, it ain’t happening. The same goes for life, we can wish change would come, but if we don’t do the necessary things to make it happen, we’re not getting that change.
When an old year ends and a new year begins (we have to admit) it brings with it an exhilaration that can't be explained. Why? Because a new year is full of new promises of change, new experiences, a new start and most of all, a new clean slate. It’s the time of year when you can hit the restart and do-over buttons...no questions asked. Whenever something ends, on the other side is something that has to begin. When Winter ends, Spring is on the horizon. Same goes for Summer and Fall. That's how life goes. This is also a great way to look at endings in our lives.
Some endings for instance, such as the death of a loved one, will leave you grieving and sad, but if you can accept it as a chance to reflect on an abundance of good memories and eventually go on with what the new beginnings have in store for you, you’ll live a happier and more fulfilled life. I found this to be true after the death of my mother. I could have spent the past 11 years moping and mourning her death, but instead, I decided to think on all the good memories we had of her and the legacy she left behind and the fact that my sisters and I have a major part in seeing her legacy live on. But, we wouldn’t have been able to embrace this if we hadn’t gotten past (ended) the mourning stage of our grief. Now don't get me wrong, we miss her like crazy and wish she was still here with us, but accepting her death and moving on has made it easier to deal with her death and concentrate on the memories we have of her. This is how some people are able to take the pain of loosing a loved one and turn it around to start a foundation or fight for a major cause in honor of that person.
If you look back over your life, you can probably pinpoint times you haven’t been able to move on because you haven’t properly let go of something. Each step in our life is necessary for us to continue growing. The end of high school or college signifies the beginning of an adult lifestyle. The end of a career signifies retirement, or a new journey all together. The end of a marriage, signifies an opportunity to start over. Do you see the pattern here? If we’re afraid to end something, we miss out on the opportunity to see what’s on the other side and what could have been.
Every New Year is an opportunity for you to sit down and figure out what you want to do differently this year that will make you a better, more productive, and happier person. Do you want to lose weight, move on to another job or another city/state? Now (better than ever) is the time to rethink and reset your goals by making the necessary adjustments in your life so you can see all the changes you want, come to fruition. And part of that change is finally putting an end to the old. For instance, if you want to lose weight, throw out the clothes that you’ve always kept just in case you gain the weight back. You see, when you hold on to the old clothes, you’re telling your subconscious mind that you already know you’re not going to lose the weight and you’re keeping the clothes as a backup and crutch. And for all my spiritual sisters out there, when you do this, you’re releasing doubt and unbelief into the atmosphere and we know when doubt and unbelief is released, our faith can’t and won't work.
Take for instance, the past two months of life for me. I packed and unpacked two (yes, I said two) houses within two weeks. Although, the moves were hectic, do you know how much more hectic it would have been if I hadn't let go of items...stuff? I mean, I bagged seven bags of my clothes alone, that I either donated or threw away. And I feel so much freer for it. And if I wasn't willing to leave that stuff behind, unpacking would have been a pain. Let's not mention how frustrating it would have been for the men who had to load and unload the truck. Now see, that brings me to another point...think about how all your baggage affects others. Now that'll preach! But I'll save that for another post, lol! Side note...I've learned an easy way to get rid of stuff. If it doesn't evoke a feeling of joy and/or if you haven't looked at it in months...throw or give it away. Besides, I was able to make room for all the new things God is and will continue to bring to my life. And, not to mention, I love my new house, that's not jam packed with stuff. Win win!
It's also important to note, that even thinking about the old will hinder you from experiencing the new. When negative things get to be beyond your control, you’ve got to distance yourself and begin to make a space for the positive. Otherwise, it will interfere with the future you want to have and keep you from making the changes you need to make.
When we think of the word resolution, we always make it synonymous with New Year, because it means “determined, persistent and staying power” (you know, all the things we need to make sure our goals are met) and we’ve made up in our mind that we’re making a change no matter what. But did you also know resolution means to end something? So often we make the mistake of writing new goals and wanting a change without getting rid of or putting an end to something. Look at this way. If you’re in need of a new refrigerator because your old one has let you down, how crazy is it to go purchase a new one, while still wanting to hang on to the old one. First of all, you need the space of the old refrigerator to put your new one in, let alone, it'll look real stupid having an old fridge sitting beside your brand new one (sticking out like a sore thumb). You get the picture, right? Many of us have lost out on so many new beginnings because we haven’t made the space in our lives or minds, for that matter, for the new.
We have to start understanding the reality of and how to deal with endings in our lives. You don’t have to like all of them, but you do need to accept the reality of what they are. If you don’t learn to accept endings to allow for new beginnings, you could simply give up and that would mean unhappiness and a lifetime of regrets.
Make room in your life for new ideas, new dreams, and a new way of thinking. By doing this, you open yourself for change. But that change can only happen if you put an end to your old ideas, old dreams, and old beliefs. Embrace your new beginnings by confronting and dealing with those things you need to put an end to. Make the New Year's resolutions that you know you’ll be able to accomplish, because they’re not something you’re just throwing to the wind, but you've purposefully mapped out a game plan to strategically eliminate the old to make room for your new. But don't worry, you still have (give or take) 300 more days to make it happen! And hey, Spring is just around the corner and we all know what Spring brings. So if you want to ditch the New Years Resolution altogether, and just go with a New Beginning and fresh start, you can make that happen too. But remember, the same principles apply.
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