The Very Definition of a Resolution Sets You Up for Failure. How to reach your goals this year anyway.

We all have an idea of how achieving goals is supposed to look.

Set the goal, take the action, repeat the action and achieve the goal.

That is how it works for everyone else who meets their goals, right? Of course not! It is never linear, and that model of a resolution is missing a ton of important steps in actually achieving your goals.

Oxford learner’s dictionaries defines a resolution as “a definite decision to do or not to do something.”

It’s interesting to me that the very definition of a resolution sets us up for failure.

The reason 80%* of us give up on our New Years resolutions by February isn’t because they are too hard, or unachievable. It’s because we focused on the wrong thing. We defined what we wanted and how we would get it and stopped there.

The idea of a “definite decision” boxes you in. It limits you. Don’t get me wrong, its important to be clear on your goals, but flexibility in how you get there allows grace through out the process.

A resolution set from a fixed mindset is set to fail. A resolution through a growth mindset, unlocks the door to any goal.

A New Year feels promising, exciting and full of potential. Motivation is naturally high. We define the goal we want to achieve, make our resolution, and then go full force towards it. Many of us only focus on those two things, the result and the motivation we have in that moment to get there. When motivation runs low, we consider it a flaw in ourselves and give up. I promise you that motivation will run low at some point, for everyone. When it does, the inner critic will start to peak its head out. Filling our minds with negative self-talk.

“I can’t stay motivated.”

“Another year and more of the same.”

“Everyone else is better at this than me.”

“Look at them, they’ve already hit their goal and here I am failing.”

“I am not cut out for this.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“This goal just wasn’t meant for me.”

“I knew I would fail, I always do.”

“I am just not ready, maybe next year.”

Do any of these sound familiar?

It is so common that we let the inner critic take over and allow these passing thoughts to become true beliefs about ourselves.

The goal doesn’t get harder; it is navigating our mindset that presents the real challenge.

You are capable, you always have been. Everything you need to achieve your goal is inside you right now, and everything that will stop you from achieving it is in there too. Moving from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset and having the confidence to overcome every one of those limiting beliefs will unlock the limitless potential inside you.

Confidence to believe in yourself when motivation runs low, when negative self talk start chirping away in your head, and when things get hard. Because every one of those things WILL happen on the road towards your goals.

The path to achieving your goals begins with cultivating a Growth Mindset.

So how do we cultivate a growth mindset?

The very first step is mindfulness. If you recognized any of those thought patterns in yourself, or negative self-talk in the past, you are already on your way. Identifying the thoughts as a limiting belief is the beginning.

Try this exercise

This process can be done just sitting and thinking, however I personally find it more effective to write out the questions and answers in a journal or piece of paper.

When you notice a limiting belief, ask yourself some questions and dig deeper.

Is this statement really true about me?

Is it always true about me?

Would someone who loves me agree that it’s true?

What fears come up when I consider the belief true?

Do I have examples of when it was not true?

Name 1 time when the opposite was true.

What parts are in my power to change?

What skills can I grow for a different outcome?

What is a truth about myself that I am proud of?

Mindfulness is all about increasing your awareness

Becoming not only aware of your surroundings and the external world, but the internal thought patterns that determine how you show up in the world. Our internal world includes all these limiting beliefs as well as our authentic truth. It includes our habits, both physical and repetitive thought patterns. Our inner world includes our capacity for self-love as well as critiquing. Our values, truths and authentic. This is who we are. Pure love, or fear.

We can choose to listen to either, once we realize we have the choice.

So, if you plan to make a resolution this year be sure to focus on what matters most.


Inner truth, authentic self

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