Every year, an estimated 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but one study suggests that only 12 percent actually accomplish their goals. Why do so many of us start each new year with resolutions, only to drop them once the hope of a fresh start diminishes?
The cultural message about our unsuccessful attempts to stick to our resolutions is that we’re lazy, distracted, or incompetent. But the standard resolutions model we’re given actually set us up to “fail” and thus break trust with ourselves, so that we’re left in doubt of our own ability to act from a place of empowered intentionality. When we fail to achieve our goals with that model, we’re told we lack willpower, and to try again. And again, and again, until we get tired and give up. We may get so discouraged and angry that we resolve never to make another “stupid resolution” again. But without setting and acting on our own intentions—whatever the time of year—how can we ever hope to be empowered, fulfilled, and truly free? [Read more…]