Throw Out Those Resolutions and Live a Healthier Life
What happens when you fall down on your resolutions? There's an answer.
Posted Jan 08, 2016
You’ve all heard and/or experienced this: You makes resolutions only to feel terrible about yourself when they fail to follow through. Let’s look at it from a different perspective.
Here’s one good way of starting the new year out on the right foot:
- Make a list of dreams and goals for the year.
- Visualize where you want to see yourself by the end of 2016.
- Create vision boards.
- Look at what worked and what didn’t work for the past year.
- Write a yearlong plan with 90 day goals.
- Break the 90 day goals into achievable steps (what will it take to get there?).
This is all GREAT, and something everyone should do. BUT, what’s really, really important is to figure out what it was that actually stopped you from achieving last year’s goals. And perhaps the year before. And maybe the year before that.
Is there something you keep trying to achieve but can’t seem to do it? Weight loss, a sales or income goal, health improvement? What do you wish you could overcome—the thing you know is holding you back? This sounds a little ass-backward to current trends, but let me explain.
There’s a serious amount of dreaming that must go into future planning, but there’s also some realism to consider. Isn’t it time to let go of the blocks that have been holding you back? Until you do, your goals will continue to elude you—and you will continue to feel lousy about yourself.
We all have attachments to the way we want things to be. Ironically, we also have attachments to why we think it can’t happen. Listen to that little voice in your head. Whatever it’s saying is a pretty good clue about where you’re stuck.
“Unsticking” yourself is key to moving forward and being able to implement the action steps and vision you have.
We all have these feelings. Sometimes they are fleeting, other times they are so painful that we push them down—we don’t want to experience them so intensely. They simmer below the surface, pulling us to behave in certain ways. Pretty soon we realize that our actions simply confirm the stuff that nasty voice in your head is saying. Things like this: “I am worthless. I will never succeed. I feel like a failure. What’s wrong with me?” “I don’t have what it takes.”
The stories we tell ourselves are really just all those repressed feelings sneaking out and doing damage. The unacknowledged feelings create the stories that hold you back. And as for stories… they’re, well, just stories.
But you must look at them.
Does this sound familiar? There is a part of you that’s always looking for ways to assuage those uncomfortable feelings… and keep them below the surface. But get this: there are studies that show that repressing or suppressing feelings will knock years off of your life. Not only that, but doing so will depress your immune system, disrupt your hormone balance and increase your risk of diseases tied to cellular damage, like heart disease and cancer. Of course, bottling up emotions can also cause people to turn to substances like alcohol and other drugs, including cigarettes, seeking numbness. Other addictions—to gaming, gambling, even social media—can work the same way.
David Hawkins, psychiatrist, spiritual counselor, and author of Power vs Force and Letting Go explains that though we are usually unconscious about suppressing feelings, doing so can show up in other ways.
He says: “The pressure of suppressed feelings is later felt as irritability, mood swings, tensions in the muscles of the neck and back, headaches, cramps, menstrual disorders, colitis, indigestion, insomnia, hypertension, allergies, and other somatic conditions.”
These feelings can also be thrust onto the outside world as blame. If we are repressing feelings, we tend to experience the world through them. We can even act upon those feelings, completely unaware.
I encourage you to look at the goal that has been evading you. Ask yourself the following questions to get behind the emotion that is attached to it.
- What would happen if I were to achieve this goal?
- How does it serve me to not achieve this goal?
- What feelings surface when I think of both achieving or not achieving this goal?
- What is the story I keep telling myself that is holding me back?
- and finally: How true is that story, really?
Identifying the feelings is key. Once you figure out what feeling you have been repressing, ask yourself where it comes from. Set your intention to experience the feeling—out in the open, freed from its prison. It won’t kill you, but yes, it may be painful for a little while. Realize if you can have that feeling — it is just a part of being alive.
In this way, you can begin releasing those feelings—they are only toxic because they are repressed. Once they are freed, and released, they cannot hurt you.
You must consciously release them. It usually won’t happen overnight, although sometimes the revelation can be so shocking that it seems like it does. But now that it’s conscious, you have to stay conscious with it—letting it go over and over again by rewriting your story.
One thing to keep in mind: you have derived some sort of benefit from staying stuck. It might be safety. Or avoiding the failure you fear by never taking the risk in the first place. Or steering clear of your own greatness, which can be threatening to many people. Or maybe you are staying safe, because you fear that people will abandon you if you’re successful.
Set your intention to clear that energy and realize these are stories you are telling yourself. It is time to write a new story of success and personal growth!