Resolutions or Affirmations?

Now that we’re in a new year and a new decade, I’m thinking about what most people are thinking about- regardless if they make them or not: resolutions. I have never been in the habit of making resolutions, probably because of that whole “fear of failure” thing. But I’m no therapist; what do I know?

Anyway, at the end of 2018, spurred on by my successful weight loss and desire to continue the momentum, I made a bunch of resolutions for 2019, contrary to how I felt. I tracked my goals throughout the year, but in early November 2019, I started taking a closer look at my progress and felt a little crappy about the results. Yes, I followed the SMART goals ideology (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound), but I pretty much fell flat anyway. I had set calendar reminders to check in on my progress, but I was never actually accountable to myself. The goals I resolved to accomplish were shallow, without heart. Why did I want to get down to my goal weight? Why was getting a professional certification a goal? Why did I want to incrementally increase my retirement savings throughout the year?

I had all these goals with no real connection to what I sought in my life, to my legacy, to my desires. Why did I want all these things, and were these things what I needed? Where did they fit in my hierarchy of needs? 

Back to the beginning of November, when I realized the old way of achieving goals just wasn’t working for me: I restarted my journey to reinvent myself. The groundwork for this journey began with Task 1: write 100-lifetime goals. (#100 is to drink only 1 cup of coffee/espresso per day, and #89 is to make edible roti 🙄.)

One of my most important goals is to either recite a mantra or daily affirmations upon waking each morning. The philosophy behind affirmations is that if you state your vision, you will speak it into existence. I desire to start each day living the life my future self lives, not reminding myself that I’m not there yet and that I must continue the struggle to get there, wherever that may be. Who wants to wake up with such depressing thoughts? I want to start my day with statements such as, “Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy,” or “I am calm, happy, and content.” Why? Because I want to hold myself accountable and be mindful of all the necessary choices required to achieve that vision of my future self. 

I am changing from making resolutions to making affirmations because the latter commits me to create my desired future self- a woman with intentionality. “My personality exudes confidence” is more powerful and intentional than “I resolve to be more confident.” Really, what’s better: walking into a room, exuding confidence, or trying to act like a confident person?

Starting my day by stating, “Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy,” means I need to get out of bed and stretch. I need to have a healthy breakfast. I need to participate in some form of exercise. I will be happy about this new day, even if it’s cold and gloomy outside.

Some people may find all of this hokey and pointless, but I know it resonates with many adults in similar stages of life. A few days ago, I had a long conversation with one of my oldest and most insightful girlfriends (love you, Mrs. Scott!). Our conversation was a reminder of why I Stan that woman so much! We live hundreds of miles away from each other, but no matter how far apart nor how much time has transpired between our calls, our journeys are connected. We spoke of our children, goals, entrepreneurship, and hitting milestone ages, and eventually, we fell upon the topic of affirmations and how critical they are to furthering our development. I realized I was indeed on to something. This Savvy Survivor knows affirmations are deeper and more meaningful to growth and development than resolutions will ever be.  

Agree or disagree? What are your thoughts about resolutions and affirmations?

Do you have any affirmations you would like to share?

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