So how do we make good, mature and self-respecting resolutions? The key is to focus on the changes we really want to see in our lives. We have to look at what we’re willing to let go of.
If we’re really wanting balance and sustainable change, we can’t start with the small stuff. Imagine a major corporation trying to turn around its balance sheet by cutting back on paper-clips. Instead, our daily actions, when they arise from a deeper sense of what’s important, lead to a different kind of discipline. In our culture, that word- discipline- is often used as a synonym for punishment. However, the root is the same as that of ‘disciple’; one who follows something or someone compelling, out of a sense of faith or hope.
As the old adage goes “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”. So, in order to make resolutions that matter and that work, we need to go back to the roots of resolutions.
‘Resolution’ comes from two paradoxical sources: firstly, from breaking things down and secondly, from holding an intention firmly. In essence, resolutions mostly aim at loosening the bad stuff or self-destructive patterns, so that we can hold fast to feeling (or looking or being) better. We all want generally the same things: having ‘enough,’ feeling safe, valued, confident and loved. When we forget this, we end up with the opposite of what we’re looking for: frustrated, disappointed and possibly skint.
So in our resolutions, what would they look like if we started with a baseline of good-feeling, replacing the ‘bad’ thing with something ‘better’? This has the potential to create internal consistency and a sense of positive self-care, rather than creating internal resistance that normally needs to be overcome by a force of will.
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