None of us are new to resolutions and have made at least one or many during our lifetime. We make resolutions mainly at three instances in our lives:
⦁ On an enthusiastic New Years’ morning
⦁ When faced with deep trauma or heartbreak
⦁ Having an insightful awakening
And just as quickly as we make these resolutions, what we lack is the firmness to stay staunch in our steadfastness in seeing them through completion. If you find yourself nodding in agreement to what you just read, sighing and feeling glum about not being able to green tick your declarations made, take heart.
Just as vitamin supplements have become common to aid our physical self; likewise, Meditation is the vitamin that aids us in fulfilling our resolutions. Vitamin ‘’M”, you can call it so.
Let us first understand the top five reasons as to why so often resolutions don’t work, along with the recommendations to follow that will carry you through accomplishing it.
The Decision is Made By The Conscious Mind Alone
We function from various layers of consciousness. The conscious mind is the reasonable and the logical one. Whereas the actual work happens from our subconscious programming.
When we make a resolution without a ‘buy-in’ from the subconscious, we invariably fail- even though the intent, the motivation and the need are high.
Think about this example – a three year old child artist is being considered for a TV commercial. Discussing the concept with the parent and getting them to say yes, is undoubtedly an essential step, akin to the work going on at the conscious level of the mind.
But what really makes the movie or the commercial is the ‘mood’ of that child artist (our subconscious), and just like the child, the subconscious has to ‘buy-in’ and be dealt with differently.
Recommendation: Meditation is the doorway to the subconscious. It lets us on things we didn’t know impacted us, and it clears fears & traumas we can’t resolve at the conscious level.
We are constantly presented with several versions of a perfect life – an ideal partner, a superb job, a fabulous holiday, and so on, a million times a day through different mediums of media.
The question we often forget to ask is, “Is this good for me?”, “Does this match my values?”
Sometimes, what is right for one, isn’t the best for another, as each one of us has an internal combination of various settings that make us unique, just like our fingerprints.
So before making a resolution, ponder over it for a few days, try out a few different ways of reaching that destination to see which path you would like to walk.
Recommendation: Spend some time reviewing in your mind what brings you the most joy. For example, if you desire to get fitter, then set a time for a meditation to mentally review what activity experienced or watched intrigues or makes you happy, and then give it a shot.
It’s Not Aligned With Your Personality
The uniform of a successful person has often been laid out for us. One should dress in a particular manner, and one should speak a certain way, drive a specific car & so many such pre-defined definitions. Then where is the space for uniqueness?
Have you asked yourself, what is my uniqueness, my exclusive qualities? What can I do to build it? When we make resolutions KNOWING these answers, even if it’s 1% of a knowing, our direction is far more precise.
Recommendation: Take time to introspect & be honest with yourself. Then craft & transform into anything you like. We can’t reach a goal, a transformed state without finding the real starting point, & that point is the current self.
The ‘Space’ is Not Created
There is a saying that motivation gets one started, but discipline keeps us going.
Whether it’s as simple as a 20 min jog, 10 mins spent with family, or a life-transforming change, much before starting & getting to a disciplined state, it is creating the space & time for the activity that makes it possible.
Our brain is accustomed to the habits we’ve created by the actions, thoughts & emotions we feel daily. When we want to create a new routine, we need to start by creating a mind-space first for the change. A space needs to be created that allows this new function to set in, and this usually happens at the subconscious level.
At the conscious level, we need to designate TIME, a fixed time slot initially, so the brain can form new synapses to create this new habit.
Recommendation: Visualize doing this new activity daily, even before starting it. If you have desired to learn a new dance form or play a new sport, visualize yourself doing it.
The Power of Visualization needs no introduction, and if the mind can see it, the body can do it.
Giving up Too Soon
There will be struggles, challenges and detours along the way, but what’s important is to keep going, even if keep going simply means – Keep Visualizing.
Our brains are wired to avoid change & often, we have reinforced this through our actions of not pursuing enough while tuning in into our intuition. When it’s just not happening – take a break. Review & come back. Shift lanes, but come back on the road.
Recommendation: Make a visual reminder of what you like to achieve, and stick it at your desk, your bedside, or even the bathroom mirror. It will visually remind you & pump your energy towards the new actions & thoughts. Irrespective of the catalyst, when we understand the dynamics of how we transform, we are in better control to ensure its success.
A few years ago, I started bringing in the New Year in new ways to mark the beginning of it in a way that made sense & added value to me. One year, I was on an all-girl trip to Goa to bring in the fun element and some me-time, cause that was what I strived for.
The following year I spent it again in travel, this time for work but brought in the New Year in meditation from 23:30 – 00:15. So glad I did that! That process, that practice, that intention & congruent action helped me glide through the lessons & perceived struggles that 2020 presented itself with.
I believe that what we do at the beginning of every era is a seed sown to what we will continue to follow. And so, with these thoughts, I wish each one of you a Year of Radical Transformation with ease & fun.