How to Choose Resolutions That Stick

Katie Ashley


What resolutions are swirling around in your head for 2015?


Do you want to lose those last few pounds, start making healthy lunches to take with you to work, join the gym—and actually go—or start keeping track of your expenses?


Perhaps you want to start volunteering more, watching TV less, writing letters to friends instead of emails, or stop looking at your phone while driving—even at stop lights.


Do any of your resolutions for 2015 echo those you set for 2014? Or 2013, 2007, even 1999?


Why do we keep setting the same resolutions over and over? If they were working, and we really did the things we resolved to start doing at the stroke of midnight, we would now be doing them on autopilot. They would be habits, not things we are still wishing for.


The problem with most resolutions is that they are created in our heads by the part of us that feels like we “should” be healthier, happier, more centered, less in debt, and more of service “if only” we “tried harder.”


They are based on what we don’t have, what we feel shameful or guilty about, or what we are judging ourselves for doing or not doing.


If we are creating a vision of our future based in shame, guilt, or judgement, we are very unlikely to stick with it. Why would we?


The key to creating resolutions that stick—and bring you the results you desire—is to start with how you want to feel.


So, how do you want to feel?


Seriously, take a moment to think about it and write it down.


Then, go deeper. How do you really want to feel?


Sarah wants to feel sexy.


What does that mean?


Maybe it means she wants to feel comfortable in her clothes. She wants to feel comfortable being intimate with her partner with the lights on. She wants to feel like a rockstar when she walks into a crowded bar. She wants to feel like she fits in at the gym. She wants to feel like a supermodel in disguise when she wears yoga pants and a hoodie to the bank and the grocery store. She wants to like what she sees in the mirror.


Write it all down. Spend a few minutes with a nice, clean sheet of paper and let it pour out. Don’t edit yourself, just let it go.


After you write stream of consciousness style, go back and list the words that depict actual feelings or symbolize feelings.


Sarahs list would include Comfortable, rockstar, supermodel, Acceptance.


Then, figure out the feeling behind the symbols.


Rockstar and supermodel could be Sarah’s way of saying confident.


So, then her resolutions are to feel Comfortable, Confident, and Accepted in 2015.


The next step is to spend a moment meditating on how you already feel, or have felt, and the way you want to feel in 2015. Even if the feeling was fleeting, happened nearly a lifetime ago, or was only experienced in a daydream.


Write it down.


Finally, decide to do something each day that inspires you to feel your resolutions.


It can be super small, or it can be a huge change. Regardless of the size or seeming significance of the action that you take, it will be a huge leap towards actually feeling the way you want to feel in 2015.


Happy New Year! I hope that this year brings you a million moments to take action towards feeling the way you really want to feel.


Make this year amazing.