Over the past couple of weeks social media has been awash with New Year’s Resolutions.
“This year I’m going to join the gym.”
“Learn a language.”
“Write my novel.”
“Get a better job.”
“Travel the world.”
But by mid-January many of us will have already ditched the resolutions, despite our good intentions. And it’s because we’re doing it wrong. Have you spotted what everyone’s resolutions have in common? They’re all things people are going to do. We pick a project and we commit to it with grand promises to ourselves about adding to our lists of achievements by this time next year.
It’s easy to think that these planned accomplishments will have a direct bearing on your intrinsic worth. The more skills you amass; the more places you visit; the more you see the number on the scales going down and the number in the bank going up; the more you do… the more you can find your sense of self-worth increasing.
It’s no surprise really if your instincts at the start of this new year are to jump in with the doing: we live in a world where our achievements are there for the sharing. Photos of our healthy meal choices; our smaller clothes; the places we’ve visited and the tasks we’ve completed – we share them and wait for the “likes” to come rolling in. The more you do the more reinforcement you get that you’re valued and admired.
But you’re doing it wrong. We’re all doing it wrong.
Look again at what you’ve resolved to do in 2019, and let me ask you why? Why have you picked those things? How will your life be better for doing them? How will you be happier?
Those aren’t rhetorical questions, by the way. Let’s say, for example, that your resolution is to lose three dress sizes by the summer. If I asked you why you’ve picked this you might tell me that you’d like to regain the confidence you remember having last time you were that size. And if I asked how that confidence would improve your life, you might tell me that you were more comfortable getting naked with your partner when you felt more confident about your body. And if I then asked how that would make you happier, you might reply that the intimacy you used to share helped you to feel gorgeous and sexy.
And so – I’d suggest – your new year resolution should be to feel more gorgeous and sexy. And once you know how you’re resolving to feel you can then plan what you’re going to do to get there. Yes, this may well still include losing three dress sizes – but you’ll feel more motivated because you’ll understand why it matters to you. And you should also spend time thinking about other things you can do to help you feel gorgeous and sexy: maybe you’ll decide to join a burlesque dance class; commit to getting up 10 minutes earlier to put some mascara on before the school run; or vow to distance yourself from people who put you down.
So here’s my January challenge for you. Before the end of the month, ditch all your doing resolutions and come up with some feeling ones instead. How do you want to feel this year? Whether you resolve to feel more sexy, adventurous, rested, organised, healthy, successful, safe, loved… when you know how you want to feel, you’ll know what you need to do to get there.