This New Years, instead of making “resolutions“, why not change it up and make “GRATITUTIONS“?
What are gratitutions, you ask? Well, first of all, let’s be honest, I made up the word… but it will soon be famous, I’m sure of it!
New Years Gratitutions are a soon-to-be tradition. You reflect on the things you are grateful for from the past year, and create an action plan for gratitude for the New Year; rather than setting new goals, referred to as resolutions. Why, you ask?
- Gratitude makes sense of your past, provides peace for the present and creates a vision for tomorrow
- Gratitude allows you to reach more goals, because your outlook changes and opportunities seem to open up everywhere
- Gratitude teaches you to appreciate the sunshine and the rainstorms, all of the ups and downs in life
- You can always choose to be grateful
- Gratitude turns what you have into enough and more
The thing to understand about Gratitutions versus Resolutions is this:
According to John Norcross (Journal of Clinical Psychology), approximately 50% of the population makes resolutions each New Year. Some of the most popular resolutions are: quitting smoking, weight loss, exercise, better money management and debt reduction.
“Cultural Procrastination”, an effort to reinvent oneself; this is Timothy Pychyl‘s definition of resolutions. As a Carleton University psychology professor, he believes that although people make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves, they aren’t usually ready to change their habits. Thus the high failure rate of resolutions.
I believe unrealistic goals and expectations are another contributing factor. Discouragement from goals not being met as easily or quickly as anticipated can lead to old behaviours returning.
To change a behaviour, you have to change your thinking!
Gratitutions allow you to see only the positive by being grateful for things, big and small, hourly, daily, weekly…. If your mind is focused on the positive, and the abundance that surrounds you, it is much easier to achieve a goal!
Resolutions on the other hand, focus on the opposite, what you do not have, what you need, what you have not yet accomplished, what you lack, … this is discouraging and not conducive patterning to change behaviours over the long-term. Hence, New Years resolutions are famously known to fail.
Focus your thinking on successes and how you can continue to improve upon them, such as with my proposed, Gratitutions. In order to create new behaviours and thought patterns, you must create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits and behaviours; do this in a way that allows you to be positive, present, and mindful. Do not live in the past (except to build upon positive experiences for which you are grateful) or future. Be aware of your physical, mental and emotional present state, and pause and be grateful for it. Use gratitude as your encourager, and you can achieve anything!
Part II, New Years GRATITUTIONS, will delve further into the failure of New Years Resolutions, the benefits of Gratitude, and concrete strategies to embrace New Years Gratitutions! I will post it in a couple of days 🙂
Be kind to yourself, practice gratitude, check back before the New Year for Part II!
With heartfelt gratitude,