The Ultimate New Year Resolution

All around the world people have been making resolutions for the New Year. You may even have been one of them. If we reckon the global population is 7 billion, how many different resolutions do you guess have been made?

Think for a moment about the variety – resolutions to lose weight and to gain money; to start relationships and to end relationships; to move forward in a career or to move back to a simpler life; to take on a fresh challenge or to find a nourishing retreat, and so on.

But behind every goal and resolution, there is the same ultimate aim.

The reason behind all of them is to get more good feelings (which is equivalent to less bad feelings). Look at your own life – if you pick one of your goals and trace the reason why you chose it in the first place, isn’t it because ultimately you want to feel good?

This being so, where do feelings actually come from?

In fact, they can only come from one source – they are a direct result of what we are thinking at the time. You can prove this anytime you like – if you think sad thoughts you will feel sad; if you think happy thoughts you will feel happy.

Because feelings come from what we are thinking, then resolutions and goals are only helpful when the thoughts we have about them are positive. Only then will we get the good feelings we want.

For example, if a goal gives you a sense of purpose, energy and enthusiasm, it is because you are having purposeful, energizing and enthusiastic thoughts.

Obviously, being human, we have fluctuations in our feelings because there is a constant flow of thought in our minds. But if you frequently feel good about a particular goal, it’s a pretty clear indicator that the goal is worthwhile. The opposite is also true; a goal that frequently feels draining or like a chore may well have outlived its usefulness.

But the best bit of being aware that our feelings come from our thinking is that we do not need goals or resolutions to feel good. We will have good feelings whenever our thinking is positive. However, this is not an invitation to set a goal to ‘think positive’ because this is counter-productive.  You see, we already have a natural bias towards good feelings whenever we have less thinking going on.

So over the next few weeks, join me in an experiment. Simply notice the times when you feel good for no obvious reason. The ‘no obvious reason’ will be because your mind is quieter and your natural gift for feeling good will be revealed.


The Ultimate New Year Resolution — 6 Comments

  1. This is a great way to start the year Trevor. New Year’s resolutions for me are about looking back over the year just gone and then seeing what had happened and how you had experienced this. Nothing being right or wrong but simply giving us an experience from which to learn and hopefully make adjustments as we go forward. So reflecting on last year and rather than focussing on what I don’t want to happen this year which will give it energy and more than likely attract more of the same into my life i learnt from last year’s expereinces and applied this to this year’s resolutions. I mull them over on New Year’s eve and then write them down on my Universal wish list sheet (happy to share this) and review them over the coming 21 days and then after 21st January i take the modified list and make these my resolutions for the year. According to many, New Year’s resolutions are much more likely to be followed if done at this time. of course we can start our year at any point so our birthday maybe another good opportunity as is a wedding anniversary or other important date.

    So this morning i decided to award myself the opportunity to lie in bed until 9:30 and just be in that moment, each time I drifted off into the future or the past I gently bought myself back to the present moment as that is all we have and yet so often we are absent and miss it completely. It felt like the best start to a day in a long time.

    Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to your future blogs of inspiration

    • Thanks Jon – you’ve obviously developed a system that works well for you. I like the idea of a period of reflection (until 21st Jan) before committing to a goal.

      You also point out the preciousness of the present moment – as you say, it’s all that we actually ever have!

  2. Great blog Trevor and it resonates with me and how I have approached the new year. Previously (for as long as I can remember!) I have set goals for myself at the start of each new year and this year….I haven’t!

    The reason I decided not to set goals (and that’s not to say I don’t have ambitions and things I want to achieve) is because I would like to keep myself open and give myself the freedom to learn from and get a sense of achievement from whatever I come accross and experience. As oppossed to being single mindedly focused on achieving a certain goal which may, in fact, shut me off from being fully aware of what is around me and how I am truly feeling about my experiences.

    I’ll let you now how it goes this time next year!

    • Thank you for your views on this Susan. It’s true that some goals can become a straitjacket and stop us from seeing and interacting with other opportunities; single-mindedness cuts both ways. That’s why I look for the distinction between goals that feed our energy and those that drain it.

      It’s also true that we can be misled into believing that achieving a certain goal will definitely bring good feelings. When we see that our feelings come from our thinking, and therefore not from any particular goal, we are free to set goals for other reasons knowing that our feelings of well-being are not dependent on achieving them.

  3. Hi Trevor
    As I read this I realised I was too busy to even think of making a resolution but now I feel I’d definitely like to continue to share more loving feelings – and having said this just 3 days ago I was very upset with a shop assistant who was surly and rude. I felt badly about it afterwards because I just saw her surly miserable face and wanted her to smile and be happy – which she obviously was not.
    So, this reminds me to be more aware of really pulling in and sending out the loving energy – especially when it’s difficult…. thank you for this – it is a very valuable reminder to spread the love…..
    Blessings and gratitude to you for spreading your loving and inspirational messages …