It’s 2019 and our timelines have been full of questions about new year’s resolutions; should you have them? Which ones are worth having? How do you stick to them? Etc. Back before I was introduced to the principles behind clarity, new year was a really uncomfortable time for me. Here’s why:
I had all kinds of “I’ll be happy when” goals (e.g. around my health, my finances, my love life), but there was a problem: I either failed to achieve them (and felt bad about it) or I achieved them, only to discover they didn’t deliver the hoped for happiness, wellbeing and security. In fact, it got so bad that one year I proudly announced that my new year’s resolution was to STOP setting new year’s resolutions, just so I could avoid the uncomfortable feelings that always seemed to follow hot on their heels.
But it turned out that this was driven by the same misunderstanding that had had me chasing my tail and getting my knickers in a twist.
That all started to change when I learned about these principles, so in this article I’m going to share what’s made a difference to me, and what I consider to be the only ‘resolution’ worth having (you’ll also discover why it answers all the questions above.)
I’m going to start with an excerpt from my book RESULTS (©2016 Jamie Smart, published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd):
A few years ago, I was listening to a recording by the philosopher Sydney Banks. Banks was a Scottish welder who had a profound enlightenment experience in 1974, and insightfully realized that there are principles behind human psychology (just as there are principles in the fields of physics or chemistry). Suddenly his words leapt out at me…
…if you’re searching for happiness; if you’re searching for tranquillity…
if you’re searching just to have a nice, peaceful, loving, understanding life…
in actual fact, you’re searching for your inner self…
I’d listened to the recording many times before, but this time I really heard it.
Whatever you may believe you’ve been searching for until now,
what you’ve really been seeking is your inner self…
What you’ve been looking for, you’ve been looking with…
You are the light…
Later that morning, I was riding a rush hour train into central London. The carriage was jam-packed with harassed-looking workers steeling themselves in anticipation of the day ahead. I looked from face to face, imagining what was going on in their minds. Targets to hit, deals to close, conflicts to resolve. People to placate, stresses to manage, obstacles to be avoided or overcome. Results to achieve. Then suddenly it struck me…
We’re all searching for our inner selves, but few of us realize it consciously.
So what does this have to do with new year’s resolutions? Here’s what:
Most new year’s resolutions are an example of “I’ll be happy when” searching…
– I’ll be happy when I lose the weight
– I’ll be happy when I stop smoking
– I’ll be happy when I meet Mr Right
– I’ll be happy when I exercise more
While all of these outcomes are fine in and of themselves, none of them have the capacity to give you something you already have; the clarity, peace and wellbeing that resides within.
So what’s the only new year’s resolution worth having?
Resolve to make it a priority to realise where your experience comes from and who you really are. My team and I believe this is the most valuable thing a person can discover.
As you wake up to where your experience comes from and to who you really are, it becomes less tempting to look to goals and resolutions to provide the qualities that can only ever come from within.
So should you set goals or not? Here’s another excerpt from RESULTS
You already set and achieve goals. A more relevant question might be ‘When is it useful for me to set goals?’ The answer: when it makes sense. If it makes sense to set a specific target, set one. If it doesn’t, don’t.
As stated earlier, goals can be useful for helping you set a direction, organize your own efforts or coordinate the efforts of a group of people. If you’re creating a complex result that involves the work of many people, or things happening in a particular sequence, goals can be an incredibly useful part of the planning process (if you’re building a house, you probably don’t want the decorators arriving to start painting before the walls are up).
But goals have no power in and of themselves. Set goals when it makes sense to do so. And if possible, set them from a clear state of mind.
Have a wonderful week!
Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Speaker and Executive Coach
PLUS: Whenever you’re ready… here are 8 ways I can help you get the clarity and results that matter to you:
1. Listen to the ‘Get Clarity’ Podcast www.jamiesmart.com/claritynow/
2. Hire me to speak at your event: www.jamiesmart.com/book-jamie-to-speak-about/
If you’re a coach or interested in becoming one…
3. Join The Thriving Coaches Facebook group
4. Listen to The Thriving Coaches Podcast
5. Take part in the Thriving Coaches Blueprint. our 90 day, rapid-implementation programme to help you get more clients and grow your coaching or therapy practice (next registration early 2019!)
6. Learn more about the Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme, our 10-month deep-immersion into the principles behind clarity (pre-booking for January 2020 now open). Book your place before Jan 31st to get it at the 2018 price!
If you’re looking to change job, career or move from FTE to something more fulfilling…
7. Join the Transition Launchpad Facebook group
8. Learn more about Escape Velocity: The Transition Blueprint our 90-day programme to help you transition into doing fulfilling work.