During this time I’ve experienced a lot of growth: emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Looking back made me think about how the experiences of my life have shaped me into the total person I am today. At the start of every year, I’ve made resolutions with the plan to become a better version of myself. Most of the time, the resolutions fall to the wayside of everyday life and my familiar habits would reemerge and take over. Do you find yourself in a similar situation?
So are New Year’s resolutions a waste of time?
I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions the past few weeks, really trying to analyze how they can be a tool for me to achieve the results I truly desire instead of being a valiant effort I’ll reflect on at the end of 2021 with little to no success achieved. This year I’m going to try something different and from time to time, I’ll share the journey here.
Assessing Your Stress
My first step to planning my 2021 New Year’s resolutions is to take “The Stress Test”. I learned about this “test” in a seminar I attended years ago. It really struck a chord with me and I’ve completed this test many times over the past 5 years. It takes about 5 minutes and gives a comprehensive picture of the events of your life (good and not so good) as well as the amount of stress each event contributes to your daily living. Here’s the link to the Life Change Index Scale: https://refreshinglycandid.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/lifechangestresstest.pdf.
I highly recommend taking the time to add up your score. One year, my score was over 400, which caused me to stop in my tracks and give some serious thought to where my life was headed and my physical health. Why my physical health? The Life Change Index Scale assigns a number which equates to the amount of stress a particular event adds to your life and the potential it has to lead to developing a minor illness, major illness, or major health breakdown. A score of over 300 points may lead to a 79% chance of a major health breakdown in the next two years. This is a powerful statement.
Given the events of 2020, it’s possible your score will be over 300. Mine probably will be also. It’s okay. Acknowledging this year has been extremely difficult for many of us is a good thing. Your perception of the past year will impact the steps you take to improve your life during the upcoming year. This may gift you the perspective to see the changes you want to make more clearly, more intuitively, which gives your resolutions more influence going forward.
Here are some questions to consider once you take this quick test and know your score:
Does your score accurately reflect your perception of the stress you’ve experienced?
Does your perception of the past year’s events equate to the effects of stress you’ve experienced?
Does your level of self-care help reduce the effects of stress to a level which can diminish the potential effects of your score?
Do the events of the past year leave you vulnerable to the effects of stress? How do you help yourself?
The Power of Perception
When you increase your awareness, you can bring new behaviors into your life. So, back to our question, are New Year’s resolutions a waste of time? No, they don’t have to be. They can be a mighty aid to getting just what we want. Taking a moment to align our past experiences and current perspective with our overall perception is a wonderful place to begin setting up resolutions which will actually work.
Set your intentions, enact a realistic plan for your schedule and routine, and realize your goals with lasting success and positivity. Invest in yourself this coming year and create the life your craving. You deserve it.