Make your year different

Ask yourself what you can let go of before you add things by way of New Year's resolutions.

Many of us take time at the beginning of each New Year to review our successes and failures of the previous year and make “resolutions” for the new year. We want the new year to be different and better.

Unfortunately, many, if not most, resolutions are not kept. My focus here is on how you can succeed in making the new year different from the past year.

Resolutions almost always involve doing something. The popular and classic example is getting in shape.

The sale of gym memberships soars in January. The gyms are crowded at first, but by mid-February usage has tapered off, and by spring the crowd has thinned to the regulars and a handful of others.

Take any of the typical resolutions people make and you’ll probably find a similar pattern – enthusiastic activity followed by waning interest, seasoned with a bit of guilt and drowned in a sea of busyness.

Barring crises, each year turns out to be much the same as the previous year.

You understand that setting intentions, goals or directions is a fundamental part of manifesting change. So what went wrong? What is missing from the formula that has led to derailment of past plans for change?

The answer lies in the fact that resolutions almost always involve adding new actions and activities to your already busy life. Yes, you can add a new burst of activity, but you cannot sustain it. You settle back to your normal energy and activity levels.

The most recently added activities are the least habitual and are the first to fall by the wayside.

The missing element from the formula is failure to address the question, “What can I let go of?” What losses, failures, old beliefs and old fears can you let go of as you begin the new year? What habitual activities and routines are no longer serving you? Can you let these go?

Can you let go of old goals? Twenty-five years ago I decided I wanted to learn to play the piano. It was a good goal. Seven or eight years ago I realized that I had been carrying this unfulfilled goal for almost two decades. I let go of it, and I felt lighter. That old goal had long since become baggage.

You free up space in your mind and life when you let go of stuff from the previous year or years.

In other words you create a vacuum, a void that your new resolutions can fill. Now you are much more able to move forward with your intended changes for the new year.

I invite you to be curious about what you can let go of.

 

Dr. Neill is a Central-Island Registered Psychologist. You can reach him at 250-752-8684 or through his website www.neillneill.com/contact

Just Posted

Bamfield Road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read