More than any other time of the year, the New Year causes great introspection. It is only natural for us to reflect upon our lives and wonder how they might be better, but especially at the end of the year. Even those most resistant to change and making New Year’s resolutions will take time to reflect. They may not take the time to actually change, but they will take the time to reflect.
There is something very magical about a New Year. It is “New” after all and the word new itself has the very essence of change built into it. It is new and therefore cannot be old. It is starting or beginning, not finishing or ending. It is the proverbial clean slate. We feel safe to make changes in our lives at the start of a new year and that is why many of us make resolutions. We resolve to change certain aspects of ourselves.
Making resolutions involves being resolute or “resolved” to change. It means being decisive and determined. It is quite literally, intention. We intend to change. The key to doing anything is first having the intention to do it, but intention can only carry you so far. Sure, it will get you to the starting point. It will help you to begin anew, but can it carry you to the end? Intention alone does not equal nor guarantee success. So what does?
The answer lies in the reason behind your intention. Why is it that you intend to change what it is that you intend to change? People become so overly focused on the end result that they lose sight of WHY they originally intended to change. That is why most resolutions fail and almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. If you view your resolution as an all or nothing intention or as a win/lose situation, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
There is another saying that goes “Almost carries no weight”, but in truth, it carries a great deal of weight. Almost is incredibly heavy because it sinks everything. It sinks all good intentions. When your focus is solely on the end result and not on the actual reason that created the intention in the first place, then it is misplaced. It has no fuel to carry it across the finish line. The reason is the very FUEL that will carry your intention and see it to conclusion.
So don’t let “almost” sink your intentions this New Year. Start off 2012 focused on WHY you wish to make changes in your life and STAY focused on those reasons. Use them as your fuel to carry you through. Do no focus on any one end goal or result. If you view change as a goal or having an end result, then you view change as impermanence and it will not be lasting. For example, if you wish to lose 20 pounds and resolve to do so, will you lose 10 pounds and quit? Or will you lose all 20 and then a few months later put five to ten pounds back on again?
Remember the weight of “almost” with everything you do. Don’t let it sink you. Instead, resolve to do it, resolve to be it in each and every moment of each and every day. In other words, live it. As Ghandi famously said, “BE the change you wish to see in the world”.