Three great reasons to ditch your New Year's resolutions before you even make them and how to make true change instead ...

New Year’s resolutions or true and lasting change?

Three great reasons to ditch your New Year's resolutions before you even make them and how to make true change instead ...

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? This article might save you the trouble . . .

Apparently New Year's Resolutions have such a low success rate that there is a day in our yearly calendar named especially to mark their failure, it is called ‘Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day’.

A study made in 2007 by Professor Richard Wiseman involving 3000 people explored why so many people (88%) fail to hold on to their New Year's resolutions, with January 17th being the most common date to give up on their resolutions.[1]

So does that mean we shouldn’t bother trying to change?

Well, no, not exactly. But it would help to know exactly where we are going wrong when we try to live up to our New Year’s Resolutions.

In essence everyone knows what is good for them and what is not, simply because we feel when something is wrong, either it is our body displaying some discomfort or even complaint or it is our moods and troubling thoughts. We cannot escape that knowing but we can ignore, numb and deny it – for a while – because it will inevitably catch up with us at some point. And guess what? We absolutely know the game we are playing! That is why we have this underlying unrest or ‘bad’ conscience most people know so well.

We know what we need to do, but because we don´t act upon it, we make it the ‘should-dos’ of our ‘bad’ conscience.

. . . Then we try to find a band-aid solution by trying to fix things with a New Year's Resolution.

There are plenty of articles which offer good advice of how to improve your New Year’s Resolution success rate – this is not that kind of article. Although some of that advice is valuable on a practical level no one ever seems to inquire about the the actual reasons behind our unwanted habits and behaviours. Instead there is a plethora of solutions, tips and motivations on how to move forward and improve your self, without ever considering how to deal with the underlying causes of the unwanted habits in the first place.

So here are some key points that are vital to truly making lasting change (without the need for a New Year's Resolution):

1. Understand that you cannot successfully change a behaviour without addressing the root cause of that behaviour first.

Whenever we feel the urge to change a factor in our life due to the fact that we don´t like or want it to be that way any longer, but do so in reaction to it, we tend to immediately seek a solution, often by going to the opposite end of the spectrum of that behaviour (yet we remain on the spectrum!).

For instance, when being overweight we decide to diet and exercise to lose weight – that would be the obvious and logical way to proceed, as we all know through the information given by our health advisors and the media.

Sure, eating only as much as the body needs and a sound exercise regime are very supportive for our health and fitness and if only we were following these guidelines we would expect to be in good shape. But what about the deeper reasons for being overweight in the first place? Before being overweight there must be a behaviour and state of being that lead us to gain too much weight

What is the underlying impetus for unhealthy eating habits or a lack of movement and will it simply disappear when we change our diet, or will it play out in other aspects of life? If we don’t stop to look to the underlying cause beneath the current spectrum of behaviours that are harming us, then we are essentially ‘managing our issues’ rather than truly dealing with them.

Even when we manage to change the unwanted behaviour and achieve the desired goal, the unresolved issue will still play out in one way or another. In general it can be said that it is always a lack of self-love that leads to behaviours that are not self-caring and nurturing of our true well-being.

2. True self-care is an expression of self-love, not just doing what is considered to be good for you or achieving a desired outcome.

Without self-love to begin with, any resolutions and change of behaviour will at best improve the targeted areas on an outer level but won´t have the capacity to deeply nurture yourself to be more of your natural loving self, confirming your confidence and overall wellbeing as a whole person in all areas of your life.

True self-care is a builder of who we are, it sets the foundation for making healthy and self-claiming choices instead of being reactive to what life throws at us. With true self-care, with ‘true’ implying here a self-loving attitude, we consistently support ourselves on an everyday basis by feeling and honouring what is needed in every moment.

There will be general principles we apply that we have experienced and therefore recognised as fundamentally self-caring, for example, not consuming certain foods or beverages or a sleeping rhythm that works well for us. But because we hold self-love as our marker we have a perennial compass that in every situation shows us what is truly supportive and what is not.

3. Body-awareness: The body is the marker of truth.

Without an honest relationship with our body, neither self-love nor self-care are truly possible. It is our body that recognises any disharmony and abuse, as it is essentially tuned by and to love and therefore always seeking harmony. By listening to our body we are able to sense and honour what is going on in every moment, hence it is the body´s wisdom that is our best advisor.

It is through the loving nature of the body that we are able to counter the loveless choices made by a mind in ignorance of our sensitivity and the harm it causes to the body and being. The body cannot escape our every choice and hence will reflect every consequence thereafter – in the case of loveless choices it will present to us with sensations, discomfort, complaints or even illness and disease. And in just the same way it responds with a sense of well-being, warmth, calmness and contentment when we treat ourselves with love and care.

So this New Year we suggest you ditch New Year's Resolutions before you even make them!

There is no need for trying to bring change to your life in a desperate attempt of making New Year's resolutions that are destined to fail for 88% of all people anyway and in the end will only disempower you. With true Self-Care there is another way that consistently supports you having a life-style that is deeply loving and nurturing.

  • [1]

    Study by Professor Richard Wiseman, 2007

Filed under

BehaviourBody awarenessWeightSelf-loveWell-beingHarmonyNurturingWeight-loss

  • By Alex Braun, Health Practitioner, Osteopath

    My whole life I have explored the correlation of healing, true religion and absolute love as the fundamental building blocks of our existence - my life is dedicated to share this holistic and all-encompassing approach of healing by living it.

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