Resolutions – No time for Masks; The “I’s” Have it!

New Years is a time many of us think of as a “renewal.”   This is a time when we can reassess the year just ending and realign ourselves to greater achievement and stronger commitment.  It is a time where we look to the oncoming year with new hope and newly expressed motivation.  This renewal is often short-lived and yet each year we recommit with new energy and determination.  Rarely do we ponder the reason that our resolutions have any staying power.

Perhaps the thing we all need to consider is that each of us is comprised of many masks all representing different aspects of ourselves that are only present when we need a particular characteristic to carry us through a given situation that a given mask represents.  Most of us wear dozens of masks who represent individual “I’s” that appear and disappear throughout the course of our daily and nightly routines.  We are never without them.  The obvious question, at this point, is what has any of this have to do with the making and breaking of our New Year’s resolutions?

Simply, if we do not have a consortium of “I’s” in alignment with a particular resolution we will be in a constant struggle with those “I’s” who are not on board.  Here’s an example:  One of the most tried and true New Year’s resolutions has something to do with improving health, e.g., lose weight, exercise, etc.  Let’s say that we commit to walk one mile each morning at six in the morning.  The “good health” “I” steps forward and fully commits to this simple but extremely useful resolution and we feel the sense of purpose and confidence that, while requiring some effort, will be an extremely valuable opportunity to improve overall health and fitness.  It’s a go starting January 2nd at 6:00 AM.

At 5:45 AM, January 2nd the alarm goes off just as planned and what happens.  While “good health I” is ready to go, “like’s to sleep, I,” who did not agree to any resolution is not ready to crawl out of bed and go for a walk.  Additionally, “well dressed I” is disgruntled that “I don’t have anything proper to wear on this walk.”  “Know it all I” jumps into the fray, as well, and contests that “I do not know enough about the nuances of walking to feel that it’s completely safe to do” and then of course “work I” comes forward with “we really need to catch up on some work and this time would be better served doing that, just this once, of course.”

All the other “I’s” come forward in these few seconds and the battle to overcome them begins.  Perhaps there is enough intensity from the “good health I” to force the others to go along but the conversation amongst them all is intense even though we may not hear anything.  Sounds corny, I know, but we all have this going on inside us and rarely do we ever consider that what one “I” believes is useful and good is anathema to the others and outside our conscious awareness they will attack any goal, plan or resolution that they have not bought into!

Our intentions need to incorporate the desires of all our “I’s” or at least have a majority if we are going to ever be successful pulling off New Year’s resolutions;  or any resolutions, plans or goals for that matter.  Too often we let a single “I” commit to something only to see it fall unglamorously to the wayside underneath the taunts and jeers of all the other “I’s.  All of us recognize that we have masks but few of us” ever try to have them integrated when we take on new things.  In fact, most of us don’t even consider that the “I’s,” that are our makeup, have any bearing on anything we plan to take on and,  quietly let our well-intentioned resolutions slip into the dark and dingy hall of failures without even considering what happened.

Talk to your “I’s”; all of them.  Even the ones we hate to admit exist like the mean, angry or scared ones.  They will tell you what they need and give insight into how to make things we plan work or at least have a better chance of working.  The only other alternative is to have them take apart everything we desire and bury it long before we were given any chance to succeed.

The best resolution is the one that takes the entire cast of “I’s” into the New Year.