It’s that time of year: “I will exercise more.” “I will lose weight.” “I will meditate every day.” All well and good, but the fact is that you will most likely fail at keeping your resolutions, because resolutions don’t work!

If you wanted to learn a new language, would you expect yourself to not make any mistakes while learning? Of course not. But somehow we think that by writing down a few resolutions, we’ll embody those new habits instantly. Which we don’t – because we humans learn by practicing, by making mistakes, and by repetition.

This year, bag the resolutions, and instead set intentions, and make “course corrections” along the way. Pick one or two areas you would like to be different in a year. Get clear about your intentions: “I want to do cardio workouts three times a week, and lift weights twice a week.” And, get clear where you are now: “Right now, I exercise once a week, if I am lucky.”

So this will be quite a course correction. No problem, if you are realistic about how you are going to learn this new habit.

Which means you will make “mistakes” along the way to meeting this year’s goal for exercise. Rather than bail on the “resolution”, which is what we typically do when we mess up, instead you will simply do a course correction. And you do that as many times as you need to, each time learning and re-learning this new habit.

Did you know that, on average, smokers quit smoking, and then start again, five times before they finally quit for good? From a resolution point of view, they failed five times. But from a course correction point of view, they were learning all the way, until they are able to fully embody the new habit.

Happy New Year – enjoy the journey (including the course corrections!).

Kirstin Lindquist, L.Ac.

Photo Credit:  “Arapiles” by N McQ – https://flic.kr/p/8E6yWb

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