This article has been written at a time when most of us have given up on our new year’s resolution. And now we need to ask why it is so common that we fail in our resolutions? We set measurable objectives and we make a plan to achieve them. Then what is missing? Most of our plans miss two crucial aspects: preventative plan for relapses and a plan to ensure that we enjoy the process. The main reason we miss this is that there is a general belief that in order to achieve our goals and ensure happiness, we need to put ourselves through hell while we pursue this happiness. We tend to compare hard work with being miserable.
Do not get me wrong, there is no shortcut when we address hard work. We just need to remember that happiness is not something we achieve it, is a way of living. We should be happy by definition. We live in a society that teaches us that we will never be happy if we are “successful”. I am here to tell you that we were born happy and successful. The whole fact that we are alive is a victory. By aiming to improve our status quo we should never assume that we are not successful.
“Just a relapse”
Most of us, when we deviate from our resolution, we see it as a personal crisis that includes a feeling of frustration, stress or even anger. We must be aware that relapses are just a step back and we can always recover with a step forward. So if we have already taken a step back in our new years’ resolution, smile and take that step forward to get back on track. I use to go to yoga classes and my teacher always saw me struggling because of my lack of flexibility would always tell me “when you struggle, smile and things will get better”. I did not believe her in the beginning, but it truly works.
Smiling, or even laughing, at our struggle takes a great deal of resilience and is not easy to achieve since the sense of failure is a powerful emotional depressant. Awareness of what is working well in our life is important to avoid the “total crisis” effect on us. If necessary, make a list of these items and have it handy when smiling looks like an impossible task.
Celebrate your successes and be grateful
Life is a never ending successful environment. Every day we learn new things, reach new milestones or even meet new people. We are in continuous growth and most of the time, we fail to see this. A good way of getting the boost from these little victories is to celebrate them to remind us that we are moving forward regardless of how fast or slow we are moving. The Celebration of life is the fuel that will keep us happy in the process of achieving our goals.
I have been involved in process improvement projects for the last 10 years and to focus on our weaknesses is one way to keep us on the right track. We often fail to celebrate victories in life because of the belief that celebrating our success will makes us feel relaxed and we may lose the drive needed to sail full steam ahead. But no engine can keep up running full steam always without breaking down. What makes us think that humans are different? The pursuit of happiness should be anything but a pursuit. Celebrate life and be grateful for what life is giving you. Cheers!
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