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Why Resolutions Fail and What to Do Instead

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Resolutions. To do or not to do? What to do instead?

New Year’s Resolutions rarely work, because they are based on peer pressure, which is based our innate instinct to fit in and belong. There’s a healthy dose of FOMO in there too. Fear of missing out on what everyone else is doing. The problem is, resolutions aren’t going to get you there. In fact, they can do the opposite.

There is definitely something to the collective energy of so many people at the same time all around the world making resolutions in hopes that their lives will improve, but only a very tiny percentage of people will actually stick to their resolutions.

By mid-January or February, the novelty has worn off and if you are connected to that collective energy by buying into it, you’ll lose momentum on fulfilling your resolutions. Why?

You probably don’t have sustainable passion about your resolutions because they were made, at least partly, in service to peer pressure and not in service to what You – your essence, your soul – actually want and are ready for. What the heck is sustainable passion? A term I just made up because yeah, I do that. What I’m saying here is, you don’t just need a little tealight candle. You need to be like a traditional indigenous firekeeper during ceremony, and never let the fire burn out until the ceremony is over. And guess what? The ceremony is your LIFE, so you need to keep that fire burning!

Also, did you create a plan of action that you will be able to follow? I can tell you that in order for me to lose weight – over 55 lbs so far – I needed to create a plan that worked specifically for me, so that I could limit opportunities for self-sabotage and manage any self-sabotage that comes up.

The New Year can get you all excited about improving your life but that excitement needs to be paired with aligned actions and it needs to be aligned with YOU and what you truly desire.

You’ve also got to be ready to take the action steps required to achieve whatever goals, intentions or resolutions you declare to the Universe (or to your friends on New Year’s Eve). If you’re not ready, you set yourself up for failure, which is what most people do.

What if you make this year about what you desire, about self-celebration and commitment to YOU? What if you create an action plan that works for you and build in supports and resources to help you if self-sabotage comes up?

By the way, if you’re reading this and New Year’s is long gone, you can start any time to create more happiness and success in your life using the tips in this blog.

How To Create A Year Of Accomplishment, Success And Happiness

Decide on What You Really Want. Again, don’t let peer pressure decide for you. Just because your girlfriend is quitting smoking or drinking or losing weight doesn’t mean you need to do it. Just because you hear about all these “6 or 7 figure entrepreneurs” out there doesn’t mean you need to be one. Can you feel the desire welling up in your body for whatever your goal is? Can you feel passion rising up within you, even in the midst of fear about achieving your goal or creating your life in a new way? THAT is how you KNOW that you really truly desire something. Not just that you want it because you think you should have it or someone else thinks you should have it. Not because you feel bad because you don’t have it. You need to feel that passion, energy and drive inside you – and it might be buried and you  might need to dig it out and light up that flame again – but you need that. Truth is, that’s Source energy – life force – and we all have it but are not always tapped into it.

Your Why. What’s your why for what you want to change, improve or start anew? Make sure it’s YOUR why and not your mother’s or your boyfriend’s or whoever else’s because it’s YOU who has to face the challenges, take the actions and live your life. So what do YOU want and WHY do you want it?

Set Your Intentions Based On What You Want and Your Why. Set your intentions DAILY. Not just at the beginning of the year but every day. If you keep telling yourself and your brain what you want and why you want it, you’re priming the pump of life force energy flowing from the Universe to you. That creates more passion and creativity within you, which gives you easier access to higher frequency energies, as well as helping you to remember to pay attention when your requests to the Universe/Source/God/Goddess/your guides show up for you.

Get Real and Make a Commitment. Intentions are an awesome start. Commitment is what gets shit done. What are you really actually ready to commit to for the year, or even just for this week? Everyone goes overboard with the “new year new you” spiel. How can you  make it real for yourself, and make sure you don’t fall flat on your face like everybody else who “should” themselves into resolutions without really having an action plan or even the desire to do whatever it takes to reach those goals and dreams? Commit to creating what you want. OWN it.

Your Aligned Action Plan. What actions are you going to take and when? Get it into your calendar. Create some accountability for yourself. And make it doable.

Get Ready! Be Prepared to Be Uncomfortable. True change means you’re going to have to do things differently and you’re going to bump up against resistance, fears and doubt. If that’s not happening, then you’re still in your comfort zone and not really creating true change. When you already know in advance what might come up for you, how your body might respond, or what your favourite brand of self-sabotage looks like, you can stay in the discomfort longer and get through whatever comes up more easily. For example, when I wanted to make a lot more money than I was used to, I got coaching and took a course to help me learn how to make more money, how to work with money and how to be with that money when it arrived. For me to release over 50 lbs., I took about 8 months to slowly change my habits and patterns as well as get help for my chronic pain, and then put my bigger plan into action. If you don’t get ready, the parts of you that freak out will pull you off course, which is what so often happens with New Year’s resolutions. If you take the time you need to truly get ready for the changes to come, and you take the other steps here, you have a fantastic chance of succeeding.

Create a daily practice. In one of my Spiritual Practice of the Month videos for my Portal to Your Purpose, Power and Passion membership site, I lay out exactly what I do every morning to set me straight for an amazing, productive, high frequency day, with a sort of template for you to create your own daily practice. Now, you might already be doing a practice every day. Does it move you in the direction of your purpose? If not, change it, because you need to remind yourself every single day of who you are, where you’re going, and what you really want, plus you’re probably going to need a reminder or two of other practices you can do when you feel lost, drained, frustrated or angry, or you’re stuck or feeling like you want to give up. We all have those moments, and if you have been doing a regular daily practice that reminds you all the time of ways for you to interrupt old patterns, stuck-ness or not so helpful energies, then you’ll be able to recall and implement those practices immediately when you need them the most.

By the way… THIS – creating a daily practice – can help you prepare to be with the discomfort, plus it can help you decrease the self-sabotage and propel you toward what you really want to experience and create.

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntrye, Medicine Song Woman



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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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