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Have Your New Year's Resolutions Already Failed? Here's a Better Idea...

Inspiring, Learning to Love Yourself, Life LessonsGuest Writer
Why New Year's Resolutions Fail

Statistically speaking, 80% of New Year's Resolutions fail by February.

I didn't make New Year's Resolutions this year, because I know they tend to be more of a reason to beat myself up later for failing, than helpful intentions to guide the year ahead of me.

"Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but research suggests only a fraction actually keep them.

Things like weight loss and getting more exercise are typically among the most popular resolutions, but this year a new Marist poll found that “being a better person” tops the list."  

— ASHLEY WELCH CBS NEWS December 30, 2016


What was it you were wanting to change this year?

  • Is it finally time to lose those ten pounds?
  • Is it finally time to leave that job that devalues you?
  • Is it finally time to get your finances in order?
  • Is it finally time to meditate daily or ramp up your spiritual practice?
  • Is it finally time to exercise more?

This list above comes from my own resolutions made over and over again. I use the word ‘finally’ because New Year’s resolutions are sort of like those promises you make to yourself when you go to bed each night.

  • “Tomorrow” I’ll get up early and meditate.
  • “Tomorrow” I’ll eat a healthy breakfast.
  • “Tomorrow” I’ll go in and ask for a raise.
  • “Tomorrow” I’ll change my spending habits.
  • “Tomorrow” I’ll exercise first thing.

A few years ago I had the stunning revelation that “tomorrow” is ALWAYS tomorrow.

Now that may not seem stunning to you but it stopped me cold. I got it. Finally I got it!

I heard the voice of Yoda in my head saying ‘There is no TRY, only DO or not DO.”

So I stopped making New Year’s resolutions and instead started thinking about my life along certain themes. I became so enamored of this idea that I did away with resolutions entirely and focused instead on a theme that would carry me through each New Year.

CREATING THEMES INSTEAD OF RESOLUTIONS: "SIMPLIFY MY LIFE"

My first theme was ‘simplifying my life’ and in the years I worked with that theme I moved twice, each time letting go of a lot of material goods I no longer needed or wanted.

But getting rid of furniture, clothing and knick-knacks was not the real benefit of working on my theme. I also made some important changes in my work relationships and activities. So I found myself letting go of relationships that weren’t fulfilling (not easy!) and refocused my work around a few key areas instead of trying to do everything that floated into my busy brain.

MY NEXT THEME WAS: "FINISHING WHAT I START"

As a writer filled with the impulse to create I struggle with staying with one project at a time long enough to get something finished. So that theme was all about completion for me and I carried that theme with me in all areas of my life finally getting books into publishing, getting my website in the hands of developers for a redo and also completing some aspects of my legal business structure that I had put off for a while.

I also discovered that my themes tend to span years and bring lots of opportunities for growth and the empowerment of choice.  And the old themes stay with me even as I choose a new theme for the New Year. So I continue to simplify as I go and also keep the lessons in completing what I am working on before moving on to the next great idea.

MY NEXT THEME WAS: "I AM ENOUGH."

That theme proved to be a real challenge and brought me lots of opportunities for growth as I stepped into my life in all areas as ‘enough.’ Over time I found I became more confident and more at peace with all aspects of my life and definitely no longer someone willing to allow other people’s expectations to define me but it is still very much a theme in progress.

That theme led directly to my next theme which was ‘self-love – body, mind, spirit.’

With that theme in my head and heart, I released 40 excess pounds and got healthier on many levels. I focused on self-forgiveness and released a lot of unresolved emotion around past events.

AND THAT THEME HAS LED TO MY THEME FOR 2017:  "RELEASING THE PAST."

This year I will work to align my thoughts, emotions and actions with presence.  For me, and maybe for you, it is so easy to get stuck in the mind ruminating over mistakes, poor choices and missed opportunities. Even though I know the past is over and done, it creeps into my present and affects my actions and choices.

But not any more.

MY NEW MANTRA IS: "ONLY TODAY EXISTS."

I like to create mantras and affirmations around my theme for the year and this one snaps me into presence like no other. Just like all my other themes, my new focus will bring many challenges as I release long-standing patterns of procrastination, prioritizing others’ needs before my own or holding back from fears that originated in past events. I know my theme will continue to change my life in ways large and small.

HOW TO WORK WITH THEMES FOR 2017

I invite you to join me in working with Themes rather than resolutions this year and begin your process of first envisioning the life you want and then choosing a theme that will support your most cherished dreams.

To help you I have created an e-workbook called Themes and Dreams that explains the process and includes worksheets for you to use to create your own theme(s) for 2017.

Just click here to get my free e-book – it is my Gift for you!

Wishing your 2017 to be filled with love, light and peace.

Reposted with permission by Cathleen O'Connor on Numerologist.com


ABOUT CATHLEEN O'CONNOR

Cathleen O’Connor PhD is a metaphysical teacher, best-selling author, speaker and intuitive coach who loves helping people harness the power of the mind and heart to co-create miracles in all areas of life. She has been quoted in the Huffington Post as a dream interpretation expert and featured as a work-life balance expert in various publications. Connect with Cathleen at cathleenoconnor.com

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