Resolutions are infamous for not working. Many of us don’t make them, or are so disheartened when hearing them that we roll our eyes as we think, “Ugh, right, that’s not going to happen!”
Whenever we make a resolution or promise, there is part of us that truly wants to succeed! Yet the key to success is to get to know the part of us that does not want to succeed. If our whole heart was on board with this, we would have done it already.
Get real with yo’ bad self!
To prove to yourself whether you are 100% whole-heartedly “in” for success, ask, “Is there any part of me that is not willing to keep this resolution?”
Take time to listen to your innermost thoughts and feelings, without criticism. Is there any part that is irritated? Angry? Frustrated? Unwilling? Unsupportive? Critical? This is the part that does not want to succeed. This part is also equally important and powerful as the part that does want to succeed. To harness this power, we need to acknowledged and accept it.
To avoid failure, we can consider revising the resolution so that we can be an “all-in,” whole-hearted, and 100 percent willing to participate in our own success!
What I resolved last year
I believe that each of us can improve something in our life. So far in life, I’ve let go of my most unhealthy behaviors, so now I’m on to what would seem like smaller stuff.
One of my three resolutions from 2017 was to quit drinking coffee. I enjoy the smell and flavor of rich, thick, espresso-like coffee. However, I discovered that it caused within me an acid fireball which returned to my throat as a fiery-hard golf ball. Although the coffee tasted good and I enjoyed its warmth, that’s not reason enough for me to cause myself such pain. So instead of medicating myself with prescriptions to allow me to continue to imbibe coffee and ignore what my body was telling me, I said, “okay then, I won’t drink coffee (dammit).”
To do so, I asked, “Is there any part of me that is not willing to quit drinking coffee?” And there it was inside of me—resistance! I felt like a teenager who’d been told that they were grounded. I was irritated and heard myself thinking, “Haven’t I given up enough already? Can’t I have this little pleasure?”
Then I asked a follow-up question: “What would it take for all of me to be whole-heartedly willing to quit?” I listened patiently, and the answer was, “Something warm that tastes good!!”
We cannot take something “enjoyable” away without replacing it. If we do, we run a high risk of returning to the old behavior. So, to appease the part of me that desired to drink something warm that tastes good, I now drink hot water flavored with good things, from a slice of apple to decaf herbal tea.
Having previously given up things that were much more difficult than coffee–like donuts and unhealthy relationships with men who caused significantly more pain than heartburn, giving up coffee was a breeze in comparison.
Over 2017, my GI tract healed significantly. Food began to taste better without the flavor of all that stomach acid. The “golf ball” feeling in my throat went away. Months into the resolution and feeling better, I decided to drink a small amount of black coffee. Not due to blind craving, but because I sensed that a little bit, for me, might be okay. Over the course of 2017, I drank a total of ten small cups of coffee and slowly savored each one. Now, having practiced and succeeded at eliminating multiple unhealthy habits, it makes it easier to look optimistically at the opportunity to succeed again.
Resolve to be empowered
As I mentor people in willpower and empowerment, I have found that asking good questions, patiently waiting for answers, replacing unhealthy choices with healthy ones and asking for help has healed many hearts, habits and homes.
At the heart of honing our willpower, is the opportunity for each of us to apply it well. Not by forcing ourselves to do things that part of us doesn’t want to do. Not by running from the discomfort of fear. Instead, by focusing and applying our willpower to courageously follow through on what is best. When we, by choice, choose to be and do what is best, regardless of our fears and desires, we are truly great.
Always with love, Angelique