Why do our res­o­lu­tions fail and what does it say about us? Maybe we aren't tak­ing time to re­flect and make achiev­able res­o­lu­tions based on ex­pe­ri­ences, and the re­sult­ing fail­ure of­ten leaves us feel­ing like losers. But by mak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence-based res­o­lu­tio

SHE Carribean Magazine - - EMPOWERMENT -

Why is it that by Valen­tine’s Day, fifty per cent of us have bowed out of our New Year's res­o­lu­tions, and by Easter, eighty-five per cent have given up? Well ladies, let's just say that pro­cras­ti­na­tion and un­re­al­is­tic choices have been run­ning amok.

Too of­ten we don't take the time to re­flect on where we have been and where we would like to go. Our dreams are not based in truth be­cause we have lost hold of who we are. We fail be­cause we don't un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween a wish and a work­able ac­tion­able goal. We fail be­cause we set our­selves up to fail.

Say­ing things like “I re­ally want to lose some weight” is NOT a goal—it's a wish.

How about: “I will lose 20lbs by June, los­ing 1lb a week, eat­ing nu­tri­tion­ally healthy food and stick­ing to a work-out pro­gramme of 45 min­utes for 5 or 6 days a week.” That's a mea­sur­able and ac­tion­able goal with clear, spe­cific, achiev­able re­sults. By re­flect­ing on our ex­pe­ri­ences, we can say good­bye to old habits that don't work and em­brace new, ex­cit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties.

And what ex­actly is an ex­pe­ri­enced-based res­o­lu­tion? Well, it is not mo­ti­vated by the ‘I should do this' at­ti­tude that con­jures up un­pleas­ant, guilt-rid­den, doomed-to-fail­ure feel­ings. Ex­pe­ri­ence-based res­o­lu­tions tap into the joy­ful ex­pe­ri­ences of suc­cess that help you to stick to a res­o­lu­tion.

Ex­pe­ri­enced-based res­o­lu­tions are cen­tred on you. You make them mean­ing­ful by link­ing them with your pas­sions, like danc­ing, play­ing ten­nis, even cook­ing. For in­stance, you could use de­layed grat­i­fi­ca­tion as the ba­sis for new habit form­ing, watch­ing a movie as a re­ward for fin­ish­ing your promised ex­er­cise. Con­sider it a tiny, congratulatory gift.

In the past, many of my res­o­lu­tions didn't work be­cause they weren't based in joy­ful ex­pe­ri­ences per­sonal to me. Much of the time our res­o­lu­tions are wrapped in so­ci­etal im­agery, cul­tural ex­pec­ta­tions, in­se­cu­ri­ties and low self-es­teem. I be­lieve th­ese con­trib­ute to the high rate of res­o­lu­tion fail­ure, be­cause we are more of­ten mo­ti­vated by fear, lack of per­sonal au­ton­omy and lim­ited aware­ness of self.

In the me­dia, res­o­lu­tions are sold to us with the prom­ise of a bet­ter, health­ier, hap­pier, more bal­anced life; they rarely ad­dress the au­then­tic you that lies within. We need to give up on un­re­al­is­tic, prepack­aged so­lu­tions to prob­lems ac­cu­mu­lated over time—there isn’t a quick fix for 40lbs of ex­cess weight or a huge credit card debt or in­stant stress re­lief. We also need to be aware that we are driven by the guilt and em­bar­rass­ment be­ing rammed home by multi-me­dia images of the per­fect body.

If you want to achieve suc­cess by meet­ing your goals— not by obsessing about ma­te­rial things like gad­gets, sleek cars and dream houses—it's time to try ex­pe­ri­ence-based res­o­lu­tions. While there is no deny­ing that we get joy from ‘things,' just like junk food, the sat­is­fac­tion doesn't last.

Our well­be­ing is to be found in the ex­pe­ri­ences we cre­ate and I wish we were all taught this at school. An ex­pe­ri­ence can un­cover your pas­sions, which ul­ti­mately helps carve your life, keep­ing the au­then­tic you alive and healthy. Ex­pe­ri­ence­based res­o­lu­tions are in­vest­ments in your well­be­ing—they can trans­form you and your life.

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