So all those New Year resolutions feel like a huge weight around our necks as we try to keep them going. Or maybe we’ve already broken them and feel like a total failure.
It’s impossible to keep New Year resolutions
It’s easy to feel it’s impossible to change. There are just so many things working against us- stress, too much pressure, drink cravings, not feeling able to go out with friends. Fear of upsetting people, because they see us not drinking or not drinking as much, as a threat to them. We feel like we’ll never succeed and our egos are hurt. All we feel is despair.
If you’re feeling like this, then this tip on hope will help.
Have the right type of hope
Joanna Macy believes there are two types of hope. One is hope is based on outcome
So may be your new year resolutions look like
“I will control my drinking”
“I will be a size 10,”
“I will get promoted in work”
And so on. You hope you will achieve these New Year resolutions.
The problem with these type of New Year resolutions is it is easy to get “blocked” when you feel under pressure or don’t rate your chances of success too highly. It’s much harder to keep going because human nature means we’ll only really act when we feel we succeed.
Hope based on your intention
By focusing on our intention though we’re more likely to succeed in our new year’s resolutions.
By focusing on our intentions and letting that be our guide we remove a lot of pressure on ourselves. We allow ourselves to see our actions as being part of learning about ourselves and our mistakes are part of our learning. We no longer label ourselves as failures when we don’t succeed first time.
We never know how things will turn out
We really don’t know how things will turn out. We cannot control what happens in our life. All we can really control is how we respond to it. If we have intentional hope it helps to makes us stronger. So we don’t know whether we’ll succeed. But if we accept even making a new year resolution, is a step in the right direction then we’re more likely to be successful.
Think Lord of the Rings
In this epic book and film, the little three foot high hobbits, Frodo and Sam were up against a huge evil army and power. They knew the chances of success were so small as to be non-existent, but because they had an intentional hope they succeeded. Their much more able and powerful friends fell away but they just kept going. Despite all the hardships and problems, they never lost hope in what they were doing. They just kept travelling on, accepting it was very difficult.
Praise yourself for your intention
So instead of blaming yourself for struggling or breaking New Year resolutions, remind yourself that you’re a work in progress. You have the right intentions and you have hope you’re going in the right direction.
So set goals, make New Year resolutions but make them with hope that you are going in the right direction rather than actually getting to that size 10.
You’ll be surprised the difference it makes.
This post was drawn from an article in the Irish Times which you can read here.