How are you doing with you New Year’s resolution(s)? We are into February and I am just curious.
It is estimated that almost 50% of people make New Year’s resolutions, and 80% will be abandoned in the month of February (Forbes).
Three years ago, as I was reflecting on my own burnout and solidifying my thoughts around the idea of what I have coined Performance Addiction™, I made a choice to give up resolutions because:
- they added more expectations to my already expectation-filled life
- as a result, they added more pressure
- they contributed to the least helpful feeling known as guilt
All three are common elements of Performance Addiction™, which leads to burnout. We’ve all heard the definition of insanity that is quoted often: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So why are these “motivators” still a human practice?
As a recovering Performance Addict, I have decided instead to dedicate my life to living from the inside out© as the antidote to my addiction and helping others do the same. One of the ways I do this for myself is by eliminating any additional (and unnecessary) expectations. Knowing that resolutions are very likely to fail, what’s the point in putting more pressure on ourselves and setting us up for potential failure? So, my forever resolution for myself and for you is:
NEVER MAKE ANOTHER NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!
Instead of thinking about what you have been hard-wired to think you SHOULD do (exercise more, eat healthier, and save money are consistently the top three offenders each year), come up with a short list of one to two things that will create great JOY in your life. Then ask yourself WHY. Why will the one or two things you choose create more joy? Why will it matter? Once that is answered, get to the HOW—what are the realistic ways to incorporate the joyful practices in your life? Make your choices small. As one of my teachers liked to say, small things can lead to big deals. You can start by just breathing for five minutes, consciously. Listen to Baroque music. It calms the brain. Get outside for a few minutes every day and breathe it in. Start with the easy stuff and notice over time how you feel versus what you think.
In other words, the resolutions we often choose to make come from our head space—our brains. When we choose to focus on things that may bring us more joy and peace, we are working from the heart. Einstein has said our brains are to be in service to our hearts. Our hearts are where are true Knowing resides. To live from the heart with support from the brain is both a choice we make and a practice we cultivate. This goes back to the antidote for Performance Addiction™. I have coined that as living from the inside out©, allowing your heart to be your ultimate guide, resulting in authentic, happy, meaningful living and leading and contributions beyond our imagination.
If you’ve already broken your resolution like so many others, GOOD! Kick it to the curb! We cannot experience true joy when we engage in unrealistic expectations, and feel significantly more pressure with corresponding guilt when we don’t follow through. And why don’t we follow through? Because we really don’t mean it! Go to your heart. That is where the truth of what you want and dream of lives. That is where we find our creation. What does matter to you? Why?
Don’t wait for next year to create your “JOYLUTION.” The only guidelines are that it be pressure-free, easy to incorporate into your life and support your joy. Share your new mindset with your loved ones, co-workers, even a stranger! If we all worked actively to choose more joy within ourselves, imagine the world we could create?
To learn more about living from the inside out© – the antidote for Performance Addiction™ – download my free white paper Performance Addiction: We Are Dancing as Fast as We Can.