Resolutions and Relationships

Have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself what kind of relationship you have with resolutions? I hadn’t either until a few days ago.The other day a friend asked me what my resolutions for 2024 were and I shared that I didn’t have any, nor did I plan on making any. (Please note that I was feeling great at this point in time). There was a longer than normal pause in our conversation before my friend said that they felt like people who didn’t make resolutions were afraid of failure. (I was feeling less than great at this point in time and also maybe a teeny, tiny bit defensive).

Instead of responding out of defensiveness because I felt like my friend was saying that I was afraid of failure, I attempted to be curious. (Yes, the key word here is attempted). I am pretty sure that my response was something along the lines of, “Rude. Say more”. My friend went on to explain an opinion that when we make resolutions for ourselves we are allowing ourselves to be self-reflective and to identify areas in our life where change could be beneficial. My friend continued to say that when we don’t make resolutions then we are afraid of failure because we are ultimately afraid of self-reflection and of trying to change. (Cue my own self-reflection on whether or not I am opposed to making resolutions because I am ultimately afraid of failure and change.)

At the end of the day, I know that I can be afraid of failure and that sometimes I am afraid of failure. I’m human. My opposition to making a new year resolution for 2024 isn’t based on fear of failure-it is based on what my motivation is to change and my motivation to actively invest in doing something different for myself and my life. Motivation is foundational to enacting change. I respectfully disagree with my friend’s opinion that people who don’t make resolutions are afraid of failure. I would rather have an acute awareness as to what my motivation is to make a change in my life (no matter how big or how small) than to resolve to make a change based off of the day of the year and have no motivation to make that change.

So instead of resolutions, invite yourself to spend some time reflecting on what your motivation is for this year. Did you start off the new year with a ‘new year, new me’ mindset (What is your motivation?)? Did you groan internally when you read the word resolution (What is your motivation?)? Or, do you find yourself somewhere in an apathetic limbo where it could be great to do something different and it could also be great if everyone would stop talking about lofty goals and ambition (What is your motivation?)?

Give yourself a gift that a resolution alone cannot give you-invite yourself to connect with your motivation and see what journey it takes you on this year.

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