A New Year, A New Life- With Intention

Gail Feldman, PhD January, 2017

  1. Why do our New Year’s resolutions lack RESOLVE ? What is it that has us drop them after a few short weeks? While they seem like good ideas, (we do want to lose those extra pounds; we would like to save toward that vacation), our motivation may be based on our weakest rather than our highest values. For example, wanting to lose weight to look good at the next high school reunion won’t be as powerful as using the HS reunion as a springboard to support the high value you place on increased health and longevity -to be lively and strong for your children and grandchildren.
  2. VALUES are the power behind the success of our Declared Intentions. If you value integrity, commitment, loyalty, it’s more likely you’ll follow through on your resolutions. It is values that keep us accountable and responsible. Values are the power behind our word.

Consider this : If you tell your child you’re picking him up from school at a certain time, when the time comes to leave for school, you would never say to yourself: “I don’t really feel like doing this today. He won’t mind if I say I forgot just this once.”

You would never let your infantile, selfish voice sabotage your commitment to being a loving parent! BUT WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES routinely!

  1. We are not ACCOUNTABLE to ourselves; we are not RESPONSIBLE to ourselves; we do not RESPECT ourselves. We do not LOVE ourselves enough to do what’s possible and what is in our highest interest. We rationalize, we deny the importance of our wishes and our dreams. “It’s not a big deal,” we might say. “I’ll start next week.” IT IS A BIG DEAL! Let’s not derail our dreams this year!
  2. Viktor Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist who lost his entire family in the death camps during World War 11, survived 3 years of hard labor and emerged barely alive with a few others who survived Dachau, the camp where 30,000 died.

Several years later, after dealing with near-suicidal grief, he was instrumental in creating the new field of Humanistic Psychology. In his most famous book, Man’s Search For Meaning, he is insistent about his belief that what keeps us going through the biggest challenges and the deepest suffering are our strongest values. He believed these values to be:

1. LOVE

2. CONTRIBUTION & Commitment to Others

3. RESPONSIBILITY and a DETERMINATION to OVERCOME SUFFERING

Please support your aspirations and dreams this year. Create your resolutions with Focused Intention and Strong Self-Regard:

Here’s an exercise:

  1. List your 3 strongest Values
  2. List 2 ways to express each one
  3. Declare your Intention to practice these 2 things (now 6 things)

Every day for three months! Your word is all-powerful!

Write it and Post it for all to see.

  1. Use an Accountability Buddy: someone who knows your plan to hold you accountable for follow-through
  1. Make a list of rewards and give yourself one at end of each week (Food must not be on your reward list! Be creative!) If (when) you fall off your plan, do the following:
  1. Forgive yourself
  2. Open your heart to success and get back on your plan
  3. Be grateful for your past successes and the ones that are now to come!
  4. Give yourself more love this year!

Have a Happy New Year and a Happy New Life!

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About Dr.Gail Carr Feldman

Dr. Gail Feldman, longtime psychologist, former assistant psychiatry professor, and award-winning author, has published six books, appeared on radio and television programs across the country, including Larry King Live, and has spoken internationally on creativity, resilience and the heroine’s journey. Her current passion is facilitating transformation through the Midlife Crash Course.
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