resolving resolutions

New Years resolutions are very attractive.  In fact they are down right sexy.  Especially at midnight when the champagne is flowing!  They entice you with the promise that they will change your life and magically make you fulfilled - like you've found your soul mate and are now complete.  The trouble with that is that when you wake up on January 1 and the romance is gone, and you glance over at your New Years resolutions in the harsh light of the day the glow has worn off.  You can see the flaws, the blemishes, the things that just plain annoy you and may even make you cringe.  Reality sets in and you have the choice to stick with the resolutions you made and do the hard yards to make them work, or to flee and get away from them as fast as you can, breathing a sigh of relief as they become a distant memory, a lucky escape, a part of your history.  Ok, so maybe its a stretch to compare New Years resolutions to relationships, but I think there are a few lessons we can learn if we want to...

  • Just as relationships take work, so do New Years Resolutions.  It would be wonderful, magical even, if we could just make the declaration - 'in 2012 I will run a marathon/be healthy/lose weight' - and it occurred, but the reality is far from this. You have to work at your resolution.  You have to choose to persevere.  You need to stick with it and keep at it until change happens.
  • People aren't perfect and neither are your New Years Resolutions.  Sometimes in the champagne filled festivities we get excited by the magic and make some big and bold decisions.  Sometimes too big and too bold.  That's ok, but in the harsh light of the day we need to be realistic and reasonable and sometimes adjust our ambition.  Maybe I won't make it to the summit of Everest this year, but I will start the training and planning for next! (Not me - no way - I have no ambition to go somewhere so cold!)
  • Getting to know your New Years resolutions improves your chances of success.  Just like getting to know someone better improves your relationship with them, so too does getting to know your New Years resolutions.  As you spend time focusing on understanding your resolutions, why you set them, what it is you really want to achieve, you are more likely to make choices to take you closer to success.  Spend some time asking yourself why did you pick this goal? What is it you are really trying to achieve through it?  What can or should you do today to move you closer to achieving your goal?
  • New Years resolutions shouldn't be about success of failure, they should be about the choice to position your life/your journey a certain way.  Relationships can't simply be defined as successes or failures - they are much more complex than that.  We choose relationships because we like our lives better with particular people in them.  So too we can choose to embrace our resolutions in our life and allow them to impact us for the positive.  It's not about success or failure in achievement (or not), but whether we allow our resolutions to change our journey for the better.  
I'm not sure what resolutions you are making for 2012, or indeed if you are making any.  (Perhaps you're too jaded by the failures of past years).  In any case whether you make a New Years resolution, a mid year resolution, or just a decision today to change something in your life - hold on to it.  Nurture it.  Spend time with it and get to really know it.  Make it part of who you are and how you live your life so you can be/do what it is you desire.