New Year's Resolutions are so last year. Now we call them intentions, plans, or goals. It's the idea that whatever you've been doing for the past few decades is suddenly going to change, alter, or halt all together this year. Semantics aside, we should all strive to be better people, and if the new year is when we decide to get it done, then Hallelujah we've seen the light! I personally think every hour of every day is a new start, so I decided to get my life together a few months before the ball dropped. So as someone who is a few months ahead of you in the new year new me department, let me just tell you that if you do indeed make good on all your new year's promises, it will effectively ruin your life.
Here's the backstory: In 2016 I decided to become a full time entrepreneur. I had a daily cocktail of stress, no appetite, and hours of sitting, mixed with either whiskey, wine, or coffee. It wasn't until I visited my doctor who gave me dirty looks when I explained why my blood pressure was so high, that I admitted to myself that this was becoming my new normal. I got a trainer and started eating more and worrying less, but a big project threw me right back into the chaos. Just before the holidays I recommitted to try again and create healthier habits. I figured if I could make it through the holidays then I could make it through a new year of projects and interruptions.
So why do I say that achieving goals, and setting intentions will ruin your life? Simply put, creating a new life will cost you the old one. In my case I tried to ensure that the old me could co-exist with the new me, but that's like asking for the sun and moon to share the same sky. I decided to add yoga to my weekly routine, the next thing I knew I changed my weekly routine to ensure that I did yoga. I started a prominently raw vegan diet for optimal health, the next thing I know I'm feeding a Whataburger to my dogs, and throwing away the fries. True story. Don't judge me.
If you think that's bad, meditation is even worse. As the saying goes once you know better you do better. Becoming a more enlightened and awake individual meant that I had to react to stressful situations differently. There were times when I wanted to type a Facebook rant or fill a cart with online impulse buys, but now that I had become more aware of myself, I knew better how to handle myself. This is part that really sucks! When you start to strip away all the things that interrupt the pain or discomfort you feel in the moment, then you have to actually start dealing with the root of that pain or discomfort. And let me tell you those roots run deep.
Your new years expectations are that you in some way are going to interrupt the cycle of behaviors that thus far have not served your life. For me it worked like this: Once I interrupted the habit, I started to see and isolate the actions that lead to it. Then I see the feelings that fueled the action. Next the thoughts that fueled the feelings. Then the beliefs that fueled the thoughts. I uncovered the experience ( usually something learned as a child) that lead to those thoughts, which is the true source of all my repetitive behaviors. Those repetitive behaviors i.e habits, are what culminate to create the life experience that I have now decided to change.
I learned I couldn't change my core beliefs and still act the same. Neither could I change my actions without changing my core beliefs. This is why so many people aren't successful in fulfilling their new year's resolutions, plans, goals, whatever you want to call it. If you truly hope to change then be prepared to totally destroy the way you are living now. You won't be the same person. Changing one thing, especially if it's the right thing, will change everything.
Bottom line: I hope that we all reach our goals in life. It's fun to copy and paste the life we want to a poster board, but it's important to note that your new life will cost you your old one. Everything you do, think, say, feel, and believe will have to change if you ever hope to. The good thing is once a few things are in alignment, other things fall into alignment with ease. Cheers to the new year, and death to the old you!