SIGN ME UP: New Year’s resolutions & the missing ingredient for success

'If it’s a change in your body that you seek, look in a full-length mirror and send love to your body, especially to the areas that you do not like,' writes Susan Kinross.
— image credit: Creatas Images/THINKSTOCK

It is a common experience that people’s New Year’s resolutions don’t work.

Have you ever wondered why it is that you start out the New Year gung-ho with your new commitments to exercise regularly, stop smoking or to lose that 15 or 50 pounds, only to eventually sabotage your efforts and end up feeling like a failure?

Well, it depends on where you are coming from in first making a resolution. It is prudent to ask yourself why you want to make this change.

Often, people will say that they mostly want to feel good about themselves.

Often, they think accomplishing a resolution will make them happier, or even just happy. They think they will be happy in life when they just lose weight, stop smoking or get to the gym three times a week.

Although these are admirable goals for their health-inducing benefits, reaching them will not make people happier. Thinking that changing oneself in any way will, in itself, make one happy is erroneous thinking.

It is the “if only” mind game and what is fuelling this thinking is an underlying belief that “I am not good enough” or “I am not enough” or “I am not OK or loveable” just as I am.

We are first and foremost already rejecting ourselves. Most people experience this “not good enough” state at some time in their life. If they try to make external changes, such as losing weight, for example, they cannot sustain feeling good about themselves with a foundation of underlying “not good enough” or “unworthy” thoughts and feelings.

The real change needed is a shift in perception. Start by adopting an attitude of compassion toward yourself. Stop judging and rejecting yourself, and practise self-acceptance instead.

If it’s a change in your body that you seek, look in a full-length mirror and send love to your body, especially to the areas that you do not like.

If you want to quit smoking, then you must learn to be compassionate with yourself, accept and love yourself even as a smoker.

It isn’t going to help at all to beat yourself up by thinking negative thoughts about yourself. It is only by accepting and making peace with what is — and knowing that you are OK, worthy, enough, good enough and loveable just for being who you are — that you can then take successful steps in the direction of your goals.

As you consider your desired dreams for 2013, remember to first offer yourself compassion, love and self-acceptance. From this starting point, you can create within yourself the strong foundation that can support real change and lasting results.

– Susan Kinross is a registered professional counsellor at Port Moody Naturopathic Health and Wellness. Info: 604-949-0077 or



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