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Why resolutions fail & how to prevent it

Processing emotions means allowing for the discomfort, not comforting the discomfort.

happy new year! Did you set any goals or resolutions for the year? I hope you did. I'm sick of people poo-poo-ing on resolutions. I think resolutions and goals are important for us to see what we really want, even if it's a big hairy audacious goal. Where we fail in the resolution process is taking the necessary action to make that dream a reality. We get uncomfortable when we try to do something different outside of our normal routine. Change is scary, especially to the human brain which is designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. When we try something new, we usually fail a few times. And when we fail, we get embarrassed, or feel shame or maybe even guilt. These are the negative emotions we avoid like the plague. We do everything we can to make these emotions disappear. This usually includes indulgent things that bring a quick hit of pleasure like scrolling on social, online shopping, and snacking. All of these actives, which funnily all start with “S” bring us pleasure, but it's a false sense of pleasure. It's false in that it provides us temporary relief from the discomfort we were feeling from trying something new. What's interesting is we think we're processing our emotions when we scroll, shop, sip, and snack. We feel sorry for ourselves, throw a pitty party for one and bury our emotions in a bag of chips. But that isn't processing emotions my friend. That is avoiding. Avoiding may feel good in the moment, but that is why it's called false pleasure. The true pleasure would be achieving the goal you set out for yourself. And here's the kicker, what we resist persists. So the longer you avoid the feeling, the longer it's going to nag you, so you might as well learn how to manage negative emotions! So how do we deal with the discomfort of things like guilt, shame, embarrassment…or whatever feeling failure brings you? Feel it to heal it. You can sit with it, walk with it, write about it, talk about it. Do anything you can to just allow the feeling to be there. Describe how it feels to be discouraged, or disappointed. What does it feel like, where in your body do you feel it? This simple act, that should last no more than two minutes, will allow your brain to disassociate negative emotion with avoidant behaviors. Which basically means no more doom scrolling or doom snacking. This my friend, is true resiliency. Feeling your emotions instead of avoiding them will keep you in the game going after you goal. I hope you set a resolution this year, and I hope you feel a lot of negative emotions, instead of avoid them. Because when you do, know that you're one step closer to achieving your goal. Best in health, Celeste



Prompts to Feel Your Feelings

  • What are you feeling? Not sure, check out this feeling wheel.

  • How would you describe this feeling to an alien who doesn't understand feelings?

  • Where do you feel this feeling in your body?

  • Know that you are human, and all humans feel this way sometimes.

  • Life is 50/50, and it's ok to not always be ok.

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