Why Resolutions Fail
We often embrace new beginnings (new month, new year, new moons) by making well-meaning intentions to practice better self care. However many of us have goal trauma - a result of abandoning our intentions one two many times before seeing them through to fruition.
Behind the resolution making and the resolution breaking lies one thing: a deeper desire to experience more joy, love, and abundance.
Yet it’s not uncommon to lose sight of this in the rigidity and striving or in the guilt induced states of self incrimination after the resolution has been broken.
Why, so often, are we successful and capable in so many areas of our life when we seem to flounder in following through on the promises we make to ourselves around health and happiness?
Many psychologists believe that when we were around the age of 6 to 8 years old, we developed a subconscious belief about life that informed how much love, abundance, and joy we believed we were worthy of or capable of experiencing.
Over the years, I have become increasingly aware of the ways in which I close myself off to the flow of love, positivity, and abundance. This can look different for everyone:
- Maybe you self sabotage in the area of health and vitality by bingeing on foods that profoundly affect your physiology, dropping you quickly into a state of depression and anxiety.
- When you eat that piece of chocolate cake do you savor every bite, relishing in the pleasure of the experience, or do you scarf it down with feelings of guilt, resisting the experience of pleasure?
- When you are experiencing vitality, radiance, and strength in your physical body after a stretch of really inhabiting your body and caring for yourself with healthy, whole foods, fresh air, sunshine, and movement, do you disengage from your body, stuffing yourself with devitalized foods, depriving yourself of fresh air and movement?
- Perhaps you deflect compliments or positive feedback instead of gracefully receiving them.
- Or maybe you create conflict and drama in your relationships when things are going really well.
I realized, personally that I had programmed myself to believe that it was better to keep myself from feeling truly alive, blessed and happy for extended periods of time, then to feel the loss that can happen when good things fall away.
As Gay Hendricks points out in the book The Big Leap,
We need to be able to create space within to feel and appreciate natural good feelings. When we don’t allow ourselves to feel positive feelings we actually create resistance to good things happening in our lives.
If our intentions fail because we have not created the space or expansion to let in more joy, abundance, and love in our life or because we ultimately feel as though we are not deserving of it, how do we create a shift on a profound subconscious level?
Here are some implementation steps we can take in order to create a shift. Many times awareness itself is enough to instigate subtle transformation in the way we show up in our lives.
1) Trust in the perfection of the unfolding. When we allow ourselves to get carried away in the daydream of our thoughts we can find fault with the way that life is naturally unfolding. But who are we to think that our idea of how things should be happening is supreme to the grand wisdom of the universe? When your thoughts begin to creep in, making the present moment wrong, relax into breath. Feel the flow and be open to having the gifts of every situation be revealed to you in their own time.
2) Connect to a pleasure-filled activity everyday and allow yourself to receive it fully. Savor every second. Perhaps you treat yourself to a bath with essential oils or you get a massage. Maybe you make some time to just lay and be with your partner or savor a glass of red wine with some soul-soothing music. Find out what would feed your mind, body, and soul in this moment.
3) Make sure your resolutions are actually in alignment with what you really want. Maybe you want to lose weight so you decide to go to the gym and slave away on the machines for a half an hour. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to lose weight?” Is it to feel sexy, alive, and experience increased vitality? Is there a better way to get there that allows you to feel that way RIGHT IN THIS MOMENT? Maybe dancing or a long walk in nature would actually make you much happier and sexier. Or going on a bike ride with your kids or playing out in the snow. Step into the experience of what you want to feel then, NOW.
4) Meditate or sit in quiet contemplation each morning. Allow thoughts to drift away as you bring your awareness to an experience of expanding light and warmth within. Surrender to your experience rather than efforting to create the experience that your mind desires. Perhaps there is a short phrase that really allows you to drop in and feel an expanding sense of peace. Repeat it silently in your mind as you sit. Allow the words to melt like molasses, percolating through every cell in your body. Mantras can be great when thoughts are especially persistent.
Thank you for reading and much love to you! Please take the time to share your experience below!