What exactly is a resolution? And why is the failure rate of New Year’s Resolutions so high?

The word resolution comes from the Latin – resolvere – to loosen or release. In our dictionary it is the explanation of problem or puzzle – from loosening the “knot” of the problem so it is understood.

However, committing to going to the gym three times a week doesn’t resolve the problem of your health or weight. It doesn’t explain the problem (how you got there, what you do to keep repeating the behaviors that keep you from having good health or the weight you want).

Interestingly, the word solution also comes from the Latin solvere – to loosen. However in our lexicon it means answer to the problem. It is possible to have a solution without resolution, hence likely a temporary fix.

So if you really want resolution – a true change to a condition in your life, take a look at the choices behind those new year’s resolutions and find the explanation of the problem or puzzle that is bothering you.

I suggest that it may be that you are making choices that you think you should make, based on how you think you should be, to change a condition that you have been living in for a year, or maybe even years.

You probably haven’t figured out why you are in that condition in the first place and what was more important to you than the condition that you think you want (or should want).

The resolution of the condition (loosening of the knot that you are in) is identifying your previous choices and then making a fundamental choice and build a habit of making everyday choices based on that fundamental choice. Choosing to exercise three times a week is not a fundamental choice. The fundamental choice in this area would be “I choose good health”. Other fundamental choices are “I choose emotional well-being” or “I choose love and forgiveness” or “I choose gratitude”.

Then every day, when making choices about your health, your emotions, your wealth, your relationships, your self-expression, you can first re-commit to your fundamental choice and then ask yourself, “Does this choice I am about to make support my fundamental choice?” If it doesn’t, make a choice that does.

Before long you will have a new neural pathway, built of your new fundamental choice and supportive daily choices. Over time it gets easier and easier.

So tonight, or tomorrow, when you think about making a new year’s resolution, just simply make your fundamental choice and act in a way that supports that choice.

Here’s an example of one way to do this…

What you can do right now is make a list of 25 wonderful things about you and be grateful!! Then make a choice to live in love and forgiveness and gratitude. Set a goal of doing one simple thing each day to love someone (including yourself), forgive someone or be grateful for someone or something. Put a fun sticker, note, drawing on your calendar each time you remember to do a simple act of love, forgiveness or kindness. It only takes a moment (or a few) for that simple act every day. You will be amazed at how your life transforms!! You will develop a strong neural pathway of seeing and living life in love, forgiveness, and gratitude!!

And here is a great way to kick-start that habit! Attend the Day of Forgiveness and Gratitude and then attend the Successful Living Basic Training to build a foundation for the life you want to live.

See you there!!


Who would have thought that the deep freeze (-50 Farenheit) could be a source of inspiration and reminders of how healing works?

I didn’t, at first. Then the Deep Freeze brought a frozen drain pipe in my house, burst pipes resulting in a small lake (ok, very large puddle!) in the course room at the Center, and then a much bigger, deeper puddle in the basement of the back house. Apparently the local mouse population wanted warmth so much they ate a hole in the foundation and braved the dogs who live in the house in order to survive. A small stream of water was flowing in as it rained and melted the snow behind the house.  I learned about hydraulic cement used to fix an active leak in a cement/brick wall.  Leak stopped, creek no longer flowing in. Repair of an appropriate boundary – the tenants live in the house, the mice and the water stay outside.

The burst pipes at the Center required replacement of the toilets – improving the letting go flow. It took a freeze to get the attention of the landlord that the room needed better care (heating) and attention. Properly attended to, the pipes would not have frozen. How often do we not attend to our emotions with love (heat) and keep them flowing?

On the other end of the spectrum, the drain pipe in my basement is clogged. Frozen clogs are harder to dissolve!! If I had remembered to clean the pipes with enzymes a few times during the year, this would not have happened. Another lesson on maintenance and attention. There’s some drainage, must be about pretty small hole, cause it takes hours for an inch or two of water to drain. Good news is there is flow. Remembering to appreciate that there is flow and following-up with patience, makes it easier to wait for the heat to thaw the pipe, preparing for the full flow.

Sometimes letting go, change, is a slow process. The larger and more frozen the energy clog, the more important it is to create safety with love and let it melt, rather than trying to blow it up with force, saving the pipe (your body) in the process.

Looking at these situations as an opportunity to learn helped me to not get upset or angry. I could simply do what needed to be done in the moment to handle it -urgency or patience where needed, plus gratitude for resolution and repair.

Life gives us teachers in many forms, we just have to be open to see the lessons. When we are, it’s easier to learn!

And remember that maintenance, keeping the boundaries strong and the pathways clear, can keep future crises away.





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