New Year’s Resolutions: Beginning With the End in Mind

Yoga and Life

We’re nearing the end of the year and that moment of truth when we look back over the last 11+ months and make an assessment. What have you accomplished? What are the highlights of your year? What do you have to show for 2017?

And that, of course, will lead you to some resolutions for 2018. But before you go there, I want to share with you what I see as the problem with New Year’s Resolutions. We focus on the wrong thing. We know there are changes we need and want to make, and we create individual goals and resolutions to help us do so, but we don’t think to weave all the pieces into a cohesive whole.

You and I both know that in just a few short weeks all those well intentioned resolutions will be a thing of the past. Most resolutions feel like work and burdensome chores. No wonder they fall by the wayside so quickly.

Why not approach 2018 differently? Why not imagine yourself on December 31st, 2018 looking back upon the most amazing year you’ve ever had? In that moment you feel proud of all you’ve accomplished and love the person you’ve become in the process. What are the attributes of the ‘Year End 2018 You’ in that vision? What are the amazing things you did? Did you accomplish things that at the beginning of the year seemed like impossible dreams? Muhammad Ali said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.” He’s one who knew how to light the fire and keep it burning.

There’s a very different approach to living life when you start with an inspired end in mind. The sense of burden and work drop away and inspiration and enthusiasm take over. There will, of course, be challenges that arise, but life isn’t meant to be easy. We all feel a greater sense of accomplishment when we know all we’ve overcome in order to succeed. There’s not much reward to be had when you accomplish something you already knew you could do.

So determine the person you want to become. How does that person behave? How does that person think? What are their habits? What changes will you have to make to become that person? Make a list of everything you can think of.

If you truly want to create change in your life, there will be sacrifices you’ll have to make. You will have to give up the habits and behaviors that have gotten you where you are now and adopt new ones that will get you where you want to go. And that right there will be your biggest challenge. It’s why so few resolutions live longer than a few short weeks.

Breaking free of bad habits and anchoring in healthy ones requires daily repetition, diligence, persistence, patience and support! Don’t try to go it alone. Recognize that the structure you have in place right now was designed to get you, and keep you, where you are now, not where you want to go. So hold the vision of the ‘Year End 2018 You’ in mind and get the support you need to get you there and beyond.

You’re worth it!