Do you already have a new year’s resolution? If so, congratulations!  But how can you be sure that your new year’s resolution is not fake?! That is, how can you avoid a new year’s ‘fake resolution’?

Once again, it’s the time of the year when millions of people come up with smart new year’s wishes, promises and commitments.  Only to silently admit later, that those wishes, promises or commitments were not that realistic after all.  They turned out to be fake, empty, misleading, false, a distraction.

Let’s be honest.  Haven’t we all personally experienced this before?  I certainly have.  Maybe it’s a human thing that we come up with great ideas, are filled with excitement and then allow the momentum to fade slowly but steadily.  But why?!  What’s the matter with us?  Why is it that every year so many of us fall into the same trap?

Our own comfort zone is the seed for fake resolutions

It’s not that we don’t feel committed when we state our wishes, promises or commitments.  We do.  The problem is just that we are not aware that, in order to follow through, in most cases we have to leave our own comfort zone.

It’s the familiarity we love and yearn.  Especially when things get tough, when we are overwhelmed, when once again we are getting trapped in the famous hamster wheel, when stress takes over, when things are getting over our heads, when … you continue this list as you wish.  It’s endless.

And you know what? I think this is absolutely normal.  For this is exactly what our comfort zone is.  It’s normal.  And it’s our very own creation.  In other words, we are responsible for our own comfort zone because we create it.  This is why it is called comfort zone after all.  It is our space for escapes from the stress out there, from the struggle, the pain, the discomfort.  And yet, it is an escape.  And this is why our own comfort zone is the seed for fake resolutions.

Struggling for change

The word ‘resolution’ comes from the Latin noun resolutio and the Latin verb resolvere which means to loosen or to release. Resolution is an act of letting go, leaving something behind, or resolving something.

A comfort zone, according to the dictionary, has two meaning: a) It is a situation where one feels safe or at ease. b) It is a settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.

Mixing the two just doesn’t fit together.  A resolution leaves a comfort zone.  In a sense, it is a juxtaposition as it constitutes a breakout from established patterns.  And the older such patterns are, the more effort and possibly pain and struggle is involved to break them.

The good news is that, once we do, we can achieve freedom.  Freedom to follow through with our new wishes, promises and commitments.  Without this freedom and the earlier struggle to break old patterns, our new year’s wishes, promises and commitments just remain fake resolutions and fade. Until next year when we try yet another attempt.

There is nothing wrong with our comfort zone.  After all, it is comfortable and it is of our own creation, often earned through hard work.  Who is to blame to take a rest in this hectic world?  No one.  But, if we are honest and sincere about our new year’s resolution(s) we have to be willing to leave the warm bed of our own comfort zone behind, take the plunge into the unknown.  It may be hard and stressful; or it may be easy and joyful.  At the end, freedom awaits us.

The MVP Formula for Change

If we are really serious about making fundamental changes next year, it is not enough to merely have and state a wish.  We have to know what we want to resolve, let go, loosen or release.  What is it we want to leave behind?  What motivates us to change?

The second step is not only to have a wish but an intention which is much stronger.  It is a vision which can guide us for the next step which is action.  When we have a vision, we may not know exactly how to get there.  Indeed, our vision may even seem to be unrealistic.  That’s alright.  The question is, if the vision were realistic to achieve, what would be the next step we could take today, tomorrow, this coming week or next month that brings us a bit closer to this vision.  Once we have an idea about this step, we take it.  And with each step we get a little bit closer to our vision.

Hence, the MVP formula for change is

Motivation + Vision + Practice = Change

Alternatively, we can state the formula as

Intention + Action = Change

The freedom of choice

There is no guarantee that this journey can be easy.  Indeed, whenever we want to break old patterns, we have to be willing to leave our comfort zone.  The nice thing about taking a leap into cold water is that we have to keep moving if we don’t want to get cold.  Then it is up to us whether we swim to the new shore or return to our comfort zone.  Both options are fine.  Still, how about this year, we all avoid a fake resolution and instead embrace true change?!  Personally, I am all in. What about you?

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