Is your resolution honeymoon over?
The new year is, what, four weeks old? Is that luster starting to wear off all those well-intended goals?
The start of the new year is exciting. There’s so much anticipation about how wonderful our lives are going to be when we get rolling on our brand new ones—big dreams, big accomplishments and all that stuff.
But there’s one thing we don’t count on. The lives we’re currently living. Those lives have the ability—no, the audacity—to come charging up behind us as we’re living these bright, shiny new intentions, and remind us of the people we used to be—the people we’re trying to leave behind.
How about it? You’re out to dinner with friends, trying to enact all these wonderful new habits and behaviors, and your friends start chiding you, “Oh, just one bite of cake…what, you think you’re better than all of us?”
Before you know it, you’re on a downward slope sliding right back into your old ways of being. And then that leads to a bunch of nasty self-loathing. And then you reach a decision point—stick with the new intentions, or give in to the old life.
See, the problem is, the old life is so easy. You already have your patterns established; people know what to expect from you. You know what to expect from you.
This new life that you’re trying to create presents a problem—for you, and for everyone around you.
First, you’re so used to that old way of being. It’s ingrained in you; it’s easy because it’s automatic. And, no one gives you shit about it.
This new life, this forces you out of your habits—those old habits that are out of alignment with the way you want to be. Of course, you’re moving toward a better way of being—but that’s not always easy.
And this new life pisses other people off. There you are, being all wonderful, and they’re still stuck in their old ways—ways they don’t want to be stuck in. You making all these changes. Pisses. Them. Off. It reminds them that they want to make changes, but they haven’t been as strong as you.
When we set the intention to live differently, there’s a honeymoon period. It’s about four to six weeks. Everything is new—and it’s all quite lovely. We’re feeling good, we’re loving life. But then that honeymoon ends (as they all do) and this is where the rubber really meets the road. This is where it gets real.
When this happens, when things get real, this is what I recommend:
Decide. Do you really want this new way of being? It’s totallyokay if you decide you don’t. Sometimes these changes are a lot bigger than we first realized, and they cause more upheaval than we first realized. If you need to scale back a bit, there’s no shame in that. But, be very clear about what you want, why, and how you’re going to do it.
If you do want to forge ahead, create a vision board or a written document that reminds you of where you’re headed. Out of sight, out of mind is very real. Every single morning, get that sucker out and look at it—no, gaze at it—until you feel like that person you want to be. Remind yourself that in a year you don’t want to look back and realize you’re still stuck in those old, sucky habits.
And finally, don’t let the bastards get you down. If your friends, family and co-workers don’t support your efforts, don’t let anything they say or do affect what you say or do. They are not you. And if they are so weak-minded that they can’t even support a loved-one through a shift, screw them. Seriously. I’m not saying you have to cut them off completely, but please—for the love of God—don’t buy in to anything they say. Get support. Find people that can and want to really support you as you change. Don’t let someone else’s thoughts and words change your mind.
If you have the intuitive sense to make changes and live a certain way, follow it. It’s not going to be easy to change—it never is. But you’re definitely not alone. Remember, this is a journey. Your bright, shiny new life isn’t going to happen overnight, and you may have some missteps. But, darn it, you deserve to live the way you want.
Now, go rock it out!
Jenn Givler is a yogini, a catalyst, a pot-stirrer, a wave-maker, and a ninja of mediocrity. In 2009, yoga saved her life—she lost 70 pounds and recovered from chronic, life-long depression. These days, she helps other people evoke big changes and live a life they love the hell out of. Join her on Facebook or at her blog.
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Ed: Apprentice Ogbonna/ Lynn Hasselberger