If your resolutions are fading, it is not surprising, since most resolutions aren't very successful. Although based on good intentions, our resolutions often don't address the underlying issues.

We can tend to be action-oriented and emphasize all that we are doing and accomplishing, but this orientation can trap us in the belief that we can always make ourselves achieve results.

Most people approach their desires from the DO-HAVE-BE model.

"I will DO this..."

"So I can HAVE this..."

"And I can BE this..."

I will DO 30 minutes of weight training four days a week. Then I can HAVE tighter abs. Then I can BE more self-confident.

The core issue is the BE level, but it's usually the goal at the end of the resolution. In order to create positive change in your life, put the BE at the beginning. The BE-DO-HAVE model is a more effective approach.

When you begin on the DO level, the obstacles from the BE level are what sabotage you. The BE level is where the "Why am I really doing this?" lives.

You need to be clear about the "why" in order to be successful.

Let's say you are tired of the clutter and disarray in your home or office, your resolution might be to get organized.

There are probably emotional reasons attached to why you cling to things that you don't need. You might be afraid of letting go of your stuff, because you may need it some day, or you don't want to lose the memories associated with it, or lose the money it cost. There may be feelings of comfort involved in having lots of things displayed and/or cluttered around you. Maybe, on a subliminal level, it makes you feel important to have piles of paper on your desk or dining table.

Your clutter and disorganization can be your teacher. Think about words that may inspire you to get started or shift your behavior. Perhaps the words "Let Go" come to you. They speak more loudly than "Get Organized." Every time you start to tackle your clutter, remind yourself of the words "Let Go."

Once you shift your intention from "Get Organized" to "Let Go," you are no longer wrestling with the "should." You will feel energized instead of exhausted as you think about beginning the process.

A potential added bonus to this approach is that you may realize that you are holding on to more than physical clutter. Maybe you are holding onto anger or resentment or an unhealthy relationship. "Let go" can be your guiding force instead of a guilt-producing admonishment.

Take the time to BE with things that challenge you rather than trying to power through them. When you are clear about the "why," it has a huge impact on your level of engagement, effectiveness, satisfaction and ability to sustain the action over a long period of time.

DeeDee Welles lives in St. Paul and is a professional organizer. www.detailsorganizingitall.com

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