Quit Making New Year’s Resolutions and Do This Instead

Context is the freedom to be.  Context is space.  It has no form, no place in time; it allows form and time…Once you create a context, that context then generates a process in which the content – the forces and circumstances – reorder and align themselves with the context. ~ Werner Erhard

I love this time of year, not just because of the holidays, but because it’s a wonderful time to pause and reflect about how the past year has gone – what worked, what didn’t work, and what you would like to do differently.

No, you don’t need to wait until December. The opportunity to create a fresh start is available whenever you want it. But the end of the year provides a reminder for you if you don’t take time any other time.

It’s not unusual for clients to resist making New Year’s Resolutions, especially if they haven’t been effective at achieving them in the past. They don’t see much hope of doing better in the future.

If you don’t believe it, listen to how many people say they don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Some laugh at the idea. Some scoff. Some get defensive and come up with justifications for why setting goals or making New Year’s Resolutions is a bad idea.

I agree with them. The way most of us have been taught to create New Year’s Resolutions doesn’t work because it feels like drudgery. Where’s the fun in that?

I’m not against making New Year’s Resolutions. They can be useful “power tools” for setting up your year. But like learning to use any power tool, one must learn to use it properly.

Too many people make New Year’s Resolutions based on an unworkable structure. Resolving to lose weight provides a good example. People know what to do.

  • Join a gym
  • Track down the latest quick weight loss fad diet
  • Begin

How long does it take before they give up? A month? Six weeks? Two months tops?

I’ve set goals this way and perhaps you have too. It’s a recipe for disaster. If you are like me, you probably vowed never to put yourself through that kind of failure, pain, or humiliation again.

Why doesn’t it work? I believe what’s missing is a larger framework or context for an EXPERIENCE you want to have.

So what do I mean by framework or context?  Here are some examples:

  • Living Vibrantly
  • Embracing Life with Exhilaration
  • Ecstasy in the Physical Body

Context opens a door to new possibilities for action. You might see mental pictures or a “vision” for what these examples mean to you.  

What would you be doing if you chose “Living Vibrantly”? Where would you be doing it? Who would be with you? How would you “measure” that you are living a vibrant life?

You will start to notice that what previously seemed yucky or like hard work – like losing weight – now becomes a pathway to the experience you really want – such as embracing life with exhilaration. It may even lead you to love exercise because you will choose activities that are in alignment with the context you created.

Creating a framework or context for an experience you want to have gives you power. And that’s the key to fulfilling on setting goals or following through on your New Year’s Resolutions.  

The framework or context you create makes taking action effortless. You may not like doing what needs to be done any better than you did before, but it doesn’t matter. You’ll do it because you are inspired by the possibilities.

And the best part is, there’s no waiting for an outcome. When you create a framework or context for your life that inspires you, you can start living it right now – not someday. How sexy is that?

Want to learn more about how to design a sexy context instead of making New Year’s Resolutions? Join me on January 14th, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific time for my complimentary “Introduction to January Jumpstart: Creating Goals that Matter” teleclass. Register now. Call-in information will be emailed to you.