Your resolution is flawed, even before you begin it. No matter if this is to lose some holiday weight, or to start running, or get a new better job, etc. Typically, your resolution is based on some idea that you don't stack up to someone else - or someone's idea of who you should be. Your resolution is based on others, not on you. I would challenge that even if your resolution is something nobler - like volunteering or gifting to a charity - it is still based on some idea -in your head - of what others expect of you.
It Is All About You
The second you make a resolution, you are basically saying that you acknowledge that there is something other's perceive as wrong about you. You enable and empower outsiders to command space in your head and dictate who you are. Even if you are joking about it - that "fun resolution" - you are acknowledging the flaw of what you think others think about you. Weight, appearance, getting out there more and being more social, whatever. You always think of yourself as your own person, but - jokes on you - others get to invade your head whenever they want. It may be well-intentioned family or friends, or it could be from seeing something in others. Either way, you on the losing end of a "comparison battle."
Change Will Come When You Are Uncomfortable Enough
I wrote a well-received companion piece, To Be Your Best, Try Being 'Uncomfortable,' that discusses that real change comes from putting yourself in an uncomfortable place. When you are uncomfortable enough with something, you will be in a place where you can effectively make a decision to change. It doesn't necessarily mean you will change, but you will have a real chance for success. 'Uncomfortable Thinking' has led to some of the biggest advances in human history and in our own individual personal growth. When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired you can make some real life-altering changes. Until then, you are just playing.
What Is Wrong With A Harmless Resolution?
On the face of it, I would say very little. It might be like buying a lottery ticket: you don't really expect to win, but it is fun to imagine for a bit. The problem is what it does to continually be reminded of flaws or where we are not living up. We are naturally competitive and here in the US, we applaud hard-driving A-type personalities. We want winners. Winners never rest - they keep winning and want more. Over time, that drive results in a sense of disillusionment or ennui. We want what the Smith's next door have, or to volunteer more like Sally, or to have the new car like Tim. It ultimately leaves us feeling hollow and focusing on others instead of us. We are surrounded with reminders of where we don't stack up - it is impossible to be the best in everything.
How many could say they are comfortable with themselves - with who they are? I would guess it is a remarkably small number. Instead of resolving, try accepting. Instead of changing yourself, try changing your expectations of yourself. Get comfortable with who you are. Here is what happens - the little things don't matter so much. You will start to appreciate what you have around you and the life you have created for yourself. The big things - they will still be there - and when you are ready to make a real change in your life, those big things will still be there waiting. Focus on who you are and accepting who you are. Those wrinkles won’t matter so much. You won’t need to give all of yourself at the office. Gained a few pounds over the holidays? OK. When you get comfortable with who you are, you can create a place where you can tackle those big things more effectively.
Let's face it - are you really happy, or are you just hoping that "this is going to be your year?"
Looking forward to a productive year with you in 2013. If you are not comfortable with commenting here, let me know your thoughts via Twitter @toddmwilms or connect on LinkedIn. This make sense to you? Pass it along to someone else who may benefit.
This story originally appeared on Forbes.