Kicking Resolutions to the Curb

By Laurie Grace

So, it’s Feb. 20, and we are seven weeks into the new year. Hmm, checkpoint: how are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions?

What is it with the year-in-year-out ritual of it all?

Now, please hear me, I am an advocate for rituals. They can define a sense of ceremony around things and create that “special” factor. Celebrations and rituals can go hand-in-hand.

I am a sucker for ritual, typically. I celebrate the anniversary of the date I bought my 80-year-old house. I drink from the same teapot and teacup every year on Christmas morning. On the 13th of each month, I reflect and smile at how many months remain until my next birthday.

But, maybe it’s time to part ways with the beat down of the Jan. 1 resolutions ritual. These rituals are typically about making a change of some sort. Our weight, our attitude, our job, fill in the blank.

They focus on changing something we “do.” Our focus is on an outcome we want to improve in some way. It’s pure human nature to see the end game and go for the goal line: lose the 20 pounds, stop nagging the kids, quit the going-nowhere job.

Could we pause and consider another way? It’s our thinking that is really the foundation for everything. Hang with me on this: our thinking leads to our emotions, and our emotions drive our behaviors, then our behaviors lead to our results or outcomes.

So, really, the best way to change an outcome is to change our thinking. Seems pretty basic, but it’s not our modus operandi when it comes to approaching change. By default, we put the behaviors and outcomes on the chopping block. We often see some short-term results but seldom see the long-term change we’re seeking.

So, may I offer something different? Set aside the old approach toward change and create some space for a new way.

Try this. Think of an area in your life you would like to change. Then, write your answers to these three questions and see where it leads you: If I could have anything at all in this area, what would it be? What would having this provide for me? If I had what this provided, what else would that mean for me?

Here’s to creating some more space for thinking, which will provide you a great foundation for real changes to come. Changes that will stick and last well beyond those annual rituals of years past.

Laurie Grace, an East Dallas resident, own and operates Laurie Grace Coaching, which helps people achieve a higher level of success in life, relationships, and business.


  1. Kim

    Genius–this gal provides manageable to-do’s to initiate change in our lives. The simplicity of her suggestions propel one to think it is possible to try again, albeit with a different approach. Couldn’t we all use a different approach to begin again?

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