Evolution, Not Resolution
Happy 2018! The start of a new year is an exciting time when many of us reflect on our past accomplishments, reconnect to our values and recommit to our goals. Often we look to adopt new habits, change our approach and/or make intentional shifts to improve our quality of life. While I, for one, delight in this time of year, I no longer focus on New Year’s resolutions. Instead I focus on my own evolution and use that as a jumping off point, as set my intentions for the year.
What’s the difference, you may wonder?
- Resolutions can be harsh, rooted in judgement or obligation. They are often extreme, focusing on all the things we’re not, which can result in feelings of guilt and failure. Evolution is more about taking an unbiased look at where we have been, where we are now and where we would like to be. It’s judgement-free and doesn’t make us feel that what we’ve done to date is bad or wrong or less than. Instead it allows us to celebrate our growth, while leaving room for us to chart next steps and with ease, flow into the future.
- Resolutions often convey a feeling of “all or nothing.” While resolutions are very results-oriented which can be a good thing, they often don’t acknowledge the small steps and successes along the way. Evolution is more focused on gradual, yet consistent change in the right direction. Evolution is as much about celebrating the journey, as it is about celebrating the destination and more a mindset of progress, not perfection.
- Resolutions are often driven by the calendar and can seem time-sensitive. Many people feel the pressure of January 1st and need to see immediate results, which often aren’t realistic or even advisable. This feeling of “on your mark, get set, go” is stressful and part of the reason many people abandon their New Year’s goals by mid-January if they don’t see significant change. Evolution is, by definition, on-going and ever-present. What’s more evolution happens over time – not in a week or a month – and not always at a specific time of year.
As an image consultant and life coach, clients often come to me in January because of the New Year’s resolutions they’ve made. Whether they’re seeking something bigger picture like personal satisfaction or professional success, or something more concrete like refining their wardrobe, there’s often a consistent theme of wanting to start-a-new. It’s why many are surprised to learn that the path of transformation begins a look at one’s own evolution. There are lessons to be learned, a foundation to be built upon and growth to be acknowledged.
So whether you are making a change to your wardrobe or your life, why not think about “embarking on an evolution” instead of making a resolution? Not only will you be able to leverage past efforts and capitalize on what’s working now, this will allow you to more gradually – and comfortably – step into what comes next. What’s more evolution makes room for course corrections, while celebrating your progress along the way.
Here’s to your evolution and success in 2018!