Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses
How many New Year’s resolutions start with I’m going to improve this or I’m going to start to learn a new skill and yet most fail with in the first couple of weeks!
The reason we fail New Year’s resolutions is that we are relying on will power and determination and this isn’t something we have a huge amount of. You might wake up and eat a healthy breakfast but by 3 pm that willpower you were relying on is nowhere to be found, instead, its alter ego the ‘just one won’t hurt’ monster has taken its place and its ready to indulge your craving and before you know it you have fallen back into the same old habits and you are telling yourself that your not strong enough and other bullshit excuses!
Why not make it easy and do what comes easy!
Why don’t you quit spending your time and energy focusing on what you need to improve on and that thing you need to work on next year!
This is just dull, depressing and you are doing nothing to help improve your self-esteem, in fact, you are setting your self up for fast failure!
Instead, why not set a resolution that 2021 is to be the year that you double down on your strengths?
To begin with, start by taking the Via Character Strength Survey, its a free, scientific survey designed by positive-psychologists, (I guess that means they are happy 🙂
( VIA Character Strengths Survey & Character Profile Reports | VIA Institute ) and once completed you will get your full list of character strengths. i
The short survey takes around 10-15min so grab a cuppa tea.
Once completed just seeing a list of your strengths can feel pretty good. But now you must stop this self-adulation for a minute at least and move onto step 2.
Bring to mind a part of your life next year that you are not looking forward.
This could be a daily task that you have to do like speak to that narcissistic person at work you really can’t stand, or it could be the thought of having to fill out your tax return.
Putting it into practice
Whatever it might be start thinking of how you can use your top strength to do the horrid task.
If the thing you dreaded most was being nice to someone you can’t stand for instance and your top strength is humour then why not use this strength of character and see if you can find the funny side, maybe find something you have in common that you can both laugh about.
My top strength was ‘love of learning’. The task I dreaded most was editing videos and audio.
Mainly because I had focused on the problem and not seen the joy I could get from reframing the perspective of the obstacle in the way. I saw nothing but tedious pain in the process.
Reframing ‘the pain and boredom of editing’ as ‘ the opportunity to learn somethinging new’, Began to really make the task ok.
I began to not only get the results I wanted but also gained a new skill, a sense of achievement and the wellbeing of feeling less stressed.
All by doing a task using the strengths I already possessed rather than trying to push through using the old adage of discipline and willpower!
And the added bonus of doing this is that without realising you might even start to really enjoy the thing you thought you hated.
Try it and see for your self live if going to feel so much easier.
I would love to hear ways the used your character strengths while doing things you didn’t really didn’t like.
Rember, you have many strengths!
You don’t have to focus on the one that comes out top in the survey, choose the any that you feel could fit best with that challenge ahead, feel free to experiment with different ones!