When Resolutions Fail: What Next?

John McManamy Health Guide
  • It’s the end of January. No doubt, you have given up on your New Year Resolutions. If you haven’t, in all probably, a long time ago, you gave up on making them. A year ago, I came up with a better option. I call it my counter-intuitive guide to surviving. Following is a review, with new commentary:


    It’s okay to give up completely …


    We all admire true grit and determination, but we also need to acknowledge the wisdom in knowing when to quit. The process of surrender can yield some unexpected rewards. At the very least, you are no longer bearing the burden of unrealistic expectations. The release can be liberating.

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    Personal note: Seventeen years ago, I surrendered to a killer depression. In the act of surrender, the depression lost its force. Paradoxically, I was no longer powerless. Yes, I was still depressed. But in the act of surrender, I had won a major battle. If this sounds Taoist to you, I’m still learning.


    It’s okay to let go …


    Too often, we invest far too much time and energy in projects with minimal payoff. Bad investors and gamblers are notorious for this. In hopes of salvaging their investment or recovering their losses, they will pour good money after bad.


    What they fail to recognize is opportunity costs - that their good money is better used elsewhere. 


    It’s not just about money. It’s how we allocate our limited time and energy. Often, cutting our losses is the best policy. As with surrender, the process can be liberating. 


    Personal note: Two and a bit years ago, I stepped away from mental health advocacy and subsequently “Alost touch with the people I was involved with. It was one of the best decisions of my life.


    Allow for the unexpected …


    Life is full of challenges that come out of nowhere, as well as pleasant surprises. We need to be sufficiently flexible to to handle both.


    Personal note: There is no way I could have anticipated the type of people who came into my life after I got out of mental health advocacy. The personal rewards were far greater than I ever could have imagined. But first, I had to be open to new possibilities. 


    Don’t neglect conventional wisdom …


    “A penny saved, a penny earned,” is still good advice. Be smart, live well …

Published On: February 05, 2016