By this time in January, statistics tells us the most people have already broken their New Year’s Resolution. Is it because they are all weak and not motivated, or maybe those resolutions are just not realistic and people haven’t plugged in a strategy they can use that will enable them to handle the stressors that often sabotage their best intentions? Best-laid plans can easily fail when stressors present themselves. Has this ever happened to you?

What if instead of promising yourself a new car, a new house, a new love, or a new body you started focusing on making changes from the inside out? Believe it or not, this may be a lot easier to achieve.

Instead of focusing on what you want to achieve and what is missing in your life, what if you focused on how you want to feel? That could be a short cut to getting there. When I ask my clients, how they want to feel, their most frequent answer is they want to feel happy. Of course, we all want to feel happy, but whenever people mention happiness they often describe it as a future event. Maybe that is part of the problem, if you can only think about happiness in the future how can you experience it right now?

Most people tend to take what they have for granted; they minimize it, find fault with it or ignore it. They will say something like, “ Yes, it is a nice new car, but I had to finance it. Or, “ Yes, it’s a lovely new house, but it needs lots of renovations.” Before we even allow ourselves to enjoy the good news, we are already focusing on the downside of our good fortune. How can we be happy doing that? We can’t ! While we say we want to feel happy, we end up sabotaging the happy moment instead of relishing it. No wonder we are always searching for happiness, we don’t allow it in even when it is right before us. We are too focused on telling the whole story, the problems and obstacles that may or may not happen, to allow ourselves a few moments to bask in the enjoyment of what we have achieved. Those few moments can lead us to the happiness we crave.

What if instead, we actually took a minute to focus on the good we have in our lives right now, without the ifs, ands, or buts. Would that help us to enjoy the journey rather than focusing on the destination? Let’s see.

- Instead of saying, “Yes, I just bought a new house, but it is further from work," say, “Yes, I am very excited about the house I just bought. It is at a price I can afford, in a quiet residential area yet close to major roads and highways.”

Instead of saying, “Yes, I lost 10 pounds but I have a lot more to go,” say, “Thank you for noticing. It inspires me to continue when someone notices the changes I have been working on.”

Instead of saying, “I have spent so much money on Christmas presents this year. It will take me the rest of the year to pay it off," say, “I feel so lucky that there are so many wonderful and loving people around me this year.”

Wouldn’t turning this around help you to stay focused on the positive, even if it’s only a few moments more?

Another roadblock to happiness is our negative self-talk. Most of the time, we are not even conscious of it, but it is one of the biggest reasons why we don’t reach our goals.
While part of us is wishing for a wonderful, loving relationship, the other part is saying that we don’t deserve it, or something must be wrong with him/her if they want us. We all have an inner negative voice that is often unheard. It comes in whispers. It brings us fear, worry and sabotages our best intentions. Until we recognize this negative self-talk and work to quiet it, it will continue to sabotage our goals and dreams.

Let’s make this year the year that we embrace the positives in our lives right now, Let’s decide to appreciate and relish what we do have and let our goal be to silence or diminish this negative inner voice that keeps us stuck and feeling powerless.

Happiness is an inside-out job. It is fine to plan for the future and have goals and dreams, but life is being lived right now. Give yourself a few minutes to remember your moments of happiness and they will grow in numbers and the moments can become minutes and maybe even hours and days.

What kind of year do you think you would have, if you could accomplish this resolution?

Author's Bio: 

Montreal psychotherapist, Rhonda Rabow, has been involved in couple and individual therapy in the Montreal area for over twenty years. One of her specialties is offering short-term counselling with long-term results. Rhonda has a solution-focused approach. Her Montreal therapy sessions do more than offer compassion, empathy and active listening. Rhonda is a strong advocate for empowering her clients. To help them achieve this goal, she offers concrete tools and strategies that enable her clients to better manage their lives and cope with any further challenges they may experience in their lives.