Poise and New Year’s Resolutions
Part One: Why Our Resolutions Almost Always Fail
What Are Resolutions and Why Do We Make Them?
We make resolutions because we recognize the need to change. The universe is emerging, and we are emergent beings. Our potential keeps calling to us, usually through the trouble we’re having, but sometimes through opportunities for growth. Resolutions come out of the best of us, our highest consciousness stationed in the world of possibility.
Here’s how a mature man or woman might make the case for change and then identify some resolutions for 2013:
v My energy is down. My endurance doesn’t match my commitments at work and at home and in the community. I know very well the cause: I’m way over weight and I don’t exercise much. My blood numbers showed a body in decline in test results last month.
v Relationships in my family are troubling. My marriage to Linda has gone a bit stale. Our children don’t confide in us as they once did, as if we have lost their trust. We all seem to be going our separate ways. I don’t think any of us is getting the love and support we need from each other.
v I feel considerable stress about our financial realities: I don’t make enough money, and I am not advancing at work. I’m sure that I don’t disguise my lack of enthusiasm successfully with my employer or my colleagues and worry that I will get dumped before I make a move, even as my debts climb.
So, potential continues to call out with some urgency. We really do want to change. We want to become the person we intuitively know is the real person. We make commitments. We may share the commitments with loved ones to shore up our intentions, to put a marker out there in the universe. We may write down an annual goal, monthly indicators and tactics, daily to-do lists. We see clearly what we want to achieve. We’re ready once again to tackle the big stuff. New Year’s Resolutions:
v Lose 25 lbs and get my blood numbers in the green.
v Renew the flow of love in my family, make sure we care about each other and give each other the respect, intimacy, and support we need.
v Get a promotion at work to increase salary and reduce debt.
A couple of weeks into the new year, we may find that the resolutions we made for the year have already faded. What was I going to do differently? Oh, yes, I intend to do that and that and that in 2013. I haven’t really started yet. I need to get going. I’ll get to it. I really need to make some changes.
But these goals will probably not be reached. The same resolutions were made last year.
Well, yes, I wanted these changes a year ago, and I still want them, so I must commit at a higher level, resolve to re-resolve. I can do these things.
But you worry that you won’t do these things.
We Don’t Sustain Our Poise
We may have made our resolutions in a state of heightened awareness, in a state of balance, composure and equanimity, able to hear the call of our potential. We saw the correct path because we were clear about what in our life was inadequate, unhealthy, or unproductive and what could release a more vibrant future. We were poised when we made our resolutions, looking unblinkingly at our life in this moment. But, somehow, we lost our poise, forgetting our resolve, missing our targets, and then giving up. Losing our poise, we:
- Can’t stay present to our commitments, so they keep drifting away in a haze of distraction.
- Fail to stay connected to ourselves—to our deepest desires.
- Begin to feel sorry for ourselves about what feels like a sacrifice we don’t want to make. We can’t stay grateful enough to maintain our discipline.
- Don’t mobilize our creativity, dropping into default when the challenges of change inevitably appear. We didn’t remember or even know that substantial change requires constant improvisation.
- Were unable to maintain a light heart as we navigated the change process, so we became earnest, heavy, and victimized.
We don’t change, or not much. And now we’re less confident than ever that we can do things differently.
Learning, Not Action, Is the Key to Change
We are unable most of the time to change the way we think and behave simply by committing to action—assuming that the immediate need is doing. We incorrectly assume that we know enough to pursue our change agenda successfully. But, actually, we only know enough to keep doing what we’ve been doing. Awareness is everything, and we don’t have enough awareness for transformation.
If we learn, if we become more aware, we will be able to focus our energies properly, experiment, keep learning, and enjoy the journey of change. If we learn enough, we will actually achieve our goals. If we learn, we will emerge.
The next three posts will reveal some secrets to succeeding with resolutions. They will focus on:
- Knowing how much change to take on
- The secrets to mobilizing sufficient energy for a resolve
- The only advisor you need to listen to.
Please comment: share your experience with us as we map the universe of poise.