One way to Help you Make and Keep New Year’s Resolutions (Start off Strong: What did you do RIGHT last year?)

 

How are you today? Do you think you spent too much holiday time on social media? Do you wish you spent, ate, drank, or indulged less? Did you blow your good exercise habits, or lose your temper with a loved one?

The end of the year and the holiday season leaves many of us with a desire for change, yet it’s a challenge for people to keep even heartfelt resolutions more than seven days.

Take a few deep breaths, and gift yourself a little time to contemplate this

If you can add in a yawn and nice long stretch, your thoughtful left brain will be allowed to re-engage, de-activating the  continuous replay of the bad results of your past choices, and the future nightmares that only really exist inside your head.

If you gently stroke your hand, you will activate the pleasure center, which makes worry impossible. Pleasure, and worry cannot co-exist, anymore than fear and love. This is not some religious or spiritual belief, although most of us relate to it that way; it’s science. You can’t feel good and bad at the same time.

So why do neuroscientists recommend turning off the worry center and activating pleasure? Well, it’s simple really,   Good ideas and inspiration rarely come from fretting. If you’re making resolutions from a place of worry or dissatisfaction, you are using a brain paralyzed by fear and indecision, standing on the unsteady platform of the past, trying to see a bright future through the enormous garbage pile called potential negative outcomes.

Most people can’t stand the pain, and instead of staying with their resolutions to change, they choose to numb out-watching TV, drinking, eating, spending, drugging or, just doing more of the same things that they have always done.

It’s easy to judge each other, until we take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves,

“Am I thriving, or surviving in the areas of life that matter to me?”

While a little thinking about your responsibilities can motivate you (realizing your kids will all need braces for example) it doesn’t generally stimulate new ideas or brilliant strategies for success. Usually fear and worry motivators stimulate us to do more of what we already do.

The beautiful gift of neuroscience and spiritual practice is that we can learn how to access the best parts of our brains and ourselves.  We can actually allow inspiration to move in and instill us with renewed energy and enthusiasm as we embark on our new habits adventures.

Here is one way to start 2016 off on the right, empowered foot:

Instead of making a list of things you want to change or improve, start with a list of your accomplishments, your strengths, your resources, and your assets.

.This list will provide you, your brain and your heart with ways to ensure the success of your resolutions for change.

Now, make a list of the changes you want to make, and then marry your commitments with your strengths.

Am I a good friend? Well, maybe it will be easy for me to find a food texting buddy to stick with my weight loss goals

Am I a talented singer? Do I love music? Hmm… maybe beautiful music would help me while I work through my piles of paperwork

Am I organized, or am I easy-going in a mess? Either one of these can be helpful to you.

Can you trade one of your strengths with someone else? If you have an easy relationship with chaos, maybe you can partner up with a friend who is afraid to take a risk, but very talented with organization.

I’ll be writing more about how to make and keep resolutions, goals and dream, but for today, take some time to breathe, stretch and contemplate your strengths.

What did you do right last year? What are most proud of?

Dig deep, Find the best parts of yourself, and call them forth as you begin the most beautiful year of your life.

 

Thank you for reading my post.

 

Mary

 

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