Why resolutions don’t work, and what you should do instead

The other day I was chatting with a friend, and she asked me if I had made any new year’s resolutions. She seemed a little surprised when I told her I don’t do resolutions. As someone who is dedicated to helping others have better lives, it would seem only natural that I would lead by example and make resolutions for myself.

Here is why I don’t. What I have observed, both in myself and in others, is that resolutions tend to come from a place of trying to fix what is broken. We’re unhappy with our weight, or in our jobs or our relationships. Or maybe we have negative habits that we want to overcome.

We see these things that are “wrong” in our lives, and we resolve to make them better. But when we do that, we are focusing on the wrong…the broken parts of our lives. And while acknowledging what’s wrong–or broken–can help us to make different decisions that will make our lives better, more often it will keep us stuck in the negative, and then we become frustrated when the changes don’t happen.

What do I do instead? I set goals by asking myself, “What do I want to create in my life in the coming year?” The striking difference is that setting goals for wonderful things you want to create comes from a place of power and positivity. They’re statements of what you want to bring into your life, not vows to change what isn’t working. Can you feel the difference?

Goals also come with deadlines. That means you are committing yourself to something good by a certain date. And if you’re serious, you’ll do it…or at least you’ll give it a serious try, because this is something you really want. And if you don’t reach your goal, you will have tried. And that’s a win right there.

So there you go. Set those uplifting goals, write them down, put a date on them, visit them daily, and visualize success. That’s how you create the things you want in your life.