How to Passionately Fail in Your New Year’s Resolutions

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By Ariel Minter

In a few short hours, many of us will be celebrating a whole New Year. Some will do so in the comfort of their own homes, others popping champagne, others going wild. 

Regardless of how you welcome this New Year, many will make resolutions. I am a big advocate for setting goals. I think it is extremely important to write down what you are wanting, to make a vision board, to talk and plan and prepare. These are the things that drive us towards the beautiful union of success and happiness in our own lives. 

Like many of you, I resolve to eat healthier, lose weight, be more active….the list goes on. Did you know that 88% of New Year’s Resolutions FAIL? Eighty eight percent! That means that it takes a very limited and very dedicated TWELVE percent of people to successfully follow through. 

I know someone who is apart of the twelve percent, and to tell you the truth, I can’t even look at her Facebook page without feeling totally depressed. She is absolutely astonishing in how she lives her life. And the shadow I let it cast upon my own life is just not something I choose to dive into. 

It comes down to the big question: What’s the point? If I am just going to go back to the same weight (or even GAIN MORE!), if I am just going to end up living in the same vices that keep me trapped in this cycle of sameness, why even set resolutions? The feeling of failure is icky. It is guilt. And guilt can easily slide into shame. And shame is the only toxic emotion you can harbor. 

I am NOT an advocate for guilt or shame. I am an advocate for goal setting. Therefore, I am an advocate for New Year’s Resolutions, even if they fail 88% of the time. 

Now, let me give you some old-as-time-advice: baby steps. Set resolutions that are ridiculous and out of this world (in your opinion), and set them at the BOTTOM of your list. Work your way from there. What are some REASONABLE activities or things you can do weekly to get to that point? You know what you are capable of more than anyone else. Be realistic. Have your big resolutions be the ultimate goal, but maybe make your resolutions more about the steps you can actually make time/have the energy for the REAL goals. 

Ultimately, goals and resolutions come down to one thing. Discipline. That is the D word that can make me cringe. I have a hard time limiting myself to a reasonable bed time, to a reasonable amount of food on my plate, to a reasonable amount of drinks to have when I go out, to committing to folding my clothes right when they get out of the dryer and not just dumping them on the “clean clothes section” of the bedroom. 

I struggle immensely with self discipline. But screw the STATISTIC that says 88% of my goals/resolutions will fail. Now, to get all corny on you….there is absolutely no shame in not meeting your goals if you truly, whole heartedly, take baby steps to get to where you want to go. 

Fail passionately. Fail forward. Just don’t stop failing, because that means you are actually doing something. Proudly join the “88% of failures,” because that is a helluva lot better than not even participating in the statistic. 

And to you 12%, keep on keeping on, you highly-motivated-crazy-alien-human-beings who seem to work miracles in your sleep :) 

Happy New Year!

POST SCRIPT:

After posting this blog, I was thinking more about the 12%. I began to question what separates them from the other 88%, and I came to the conclusion that perhaps the 12% (or at least a percentage of the twelve percent) of those who keep their New Year’s Resolutions are the ones who create goals for themselves that are actually attainable.

For example, every year I make a bit of an extreme goal, like losing 10-20 pounds. This is pretty radical. I know my body. I know the average weight I carry and my BMI and what is healthy, etc. If I were to lose even 10 pounds, maintaining that would consist of me being in the gym EVERY DAY for at least an hour and eating a very limiting diet. I am all about making healthy food choices and exercising, but I also know that that particular “goal” isn’t only unattainable, but dangerous. 

So, perhaps it is time to join the 12% (or at least a percentage of the twelve percent) and actually create goals that are reasonable for who you are.  

What are your thoughts on the 88% that “fail” vs. the 12% that succeed? Do you really know what goals and choices are healthy and GOOD for who/what you are, or are you setting yourself up for failure because of the types of resolutions you are setting for yourself? Comments can be completely anonymous, I would love to hear your thoughts on this! 


Why it is Time to Shut Up 

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By Ariel Minter

The older I become, the more I realize I need to keep my mouth closed. Shutting up really can change your life. 

I started talking in full sentences at 9 months (not even kidding, you can ask my Mother about this….) and I haven’t stopped a whole lot since. I love to talk. To the lady who is checking me out at the local grocery store, to the person taking my movie ticket, to my best friends, and of course to my dogs…there are probably very few circumstances where I am not saying something. That is until a few months ago. 

One night,  in the midst of a deep conversation with my best friend, we decided to shut up. It all really began more so as a joke, but as we started talking about not talking  and we realized we should actually do this. Now, the term “shut up” in itself is not very nice at all, so I am not condoning such behavior. However, that happens to be what we say to each other ALL THE TIME. 

I quickly find myself over-talking (surprise, surprise), and my bestie shoots me a glance and very seriously will say “Shut up.” THANK GOD because otherwise I would be digging myself into a please-stop-talking-before-you-ruin-it moment.

So we shut up. Now, I think it is time for you to shut up, too. And I mean that with sincere respect. 

Words are powerful. WHAT we say, and HOW we say it, well it matters a whole bunch. But what you don’t say matters even more. The absence of an opinion, of trying to redirect the conversation to YOUR intentions, of interrupting so you could share your thought from the conversation that began 5 whole minutes ago….these things are dangerous little monsters. They seep into your mind, making you think your thoughts are superior, and they have the potential to completely ruin the flow of conversation, demolish inspiration, and result in an empty conversation.

This little theory is not limited to the “self-entitled millennial.” Now, I will admit that there is a lot of self-entitlement floating around our culture, but there is just as much within every age group. We all want to BE HEARD. When someone genuinely listens to what you have to say, well that my friends is better than Tom Ford or “popping molly.” Seriously. Being truly heard by another human is the best feeling out there. It validates you as a being, it has the power to create inspiration, and it is invaluable on every level. 

Now, in essence of this idea, I will keep this short and sweet. I challenge you to shut up. I challenge you to give the gift of being “all ears”. Every single one of my friends who has decided to shut up has reported back to me with nothing but positivity. Listening is the most powerful tool there is. The more you listen, the more you will breed inspiration. The better communicator you will be. And, best of all, you will establish a deeper intimacy with the people you love the most.

So, shut up. 


Bike, Brains, & How you can have Real JOY this Holiday Season!

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By Jami Keller

The phrase “it’s just like riding a bike” refers to kinesthetic memory. This is memory that is literally stored in your muscles and allows you to remember how to balance on a bike even if you haven’t in years.

The pains and stresses that can arise during the holidays are just like riding a bike.


Forgotten and neglected memories “hang out” and are constantly being looked at by your heart. The amygdale (fight, flight, or freeze? Check out the literature behind this research in our Recommended Reading) in your brain is on alert and ready to feel the old feelings. The newest research tells us that your heart is the lead instrument in this subconscious amygdale process. Whether you didn’t get the gift you so patiently waited for and it broke your heart at 9 years old, or if you recently separated from your significant other, it is easy for your head and heart to feel the aches and pains.

This is especially so, during the season of holidays and family, which provides the perfect platform to reminisce the “good ol’ days” that maybe weren’t so good.

For me, it is the memory of being yelled at as a child for not doing the tinsel on the tree the correct way. I was then expected to be happy for everyone else. This small, yet unforgettable memory, has kept tinsel out of our house for 25 years.

My wife (Marla) and I have been talking about how to truly have a joyful holiday season for years. And we don’t just talk about. We deal with forgiving the dark holiday memories every year (sometimes several times a year). Now, bear with me on this forgiveness piece…

Most of us have a misunderstanding about forgiveness. Forgiveness of these old feelings will bring us to a place where we can choose peace, power and joy, even in the holiday season. Forgiveness does not let people or situations out of being accountable for what happened. What it does is let’s your heart and amygdale let go of looking for the past feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness, and betrayal.

There is a saying “seek and you will find.” We believe it. Ff you are looking for the “Other shoe to drop” it will probably drop for you. So forgiveness is a choice first, then a feeling. Almost no one starts with forgiveness as a feeling, especially if the offender is not apologetic.

Forgiveness is for the forgiver. When I am able to truly choose to forgive, I then can let go. It turns out that I was re-living the misery of tinsel (every year!) without even realizing it. I had forgotten about it till I was using the Passion Provokers process for finding out why I was so unhappy during the holidays.

Of course, there is much more behind it and ultimately I was allowing the anger, that was never even really mine, to color every present, every Christmas song, and every holiday meal. Forgiveness showed me that I was allowing someone else’s pain dictate how I felt about the holidays, thirty years after the incident even happened!

Forgiveness let me out of that trap. Choosing to forgive eventually required that I forgive myself for hanging onto these old feelings for 30+ years. What a relief (and Relief is the number one feeling that every person we have taken through our process reports having)!

So choosing to pay attention to what I am feeling using the “Feeling Wheel APP” gave me a clear picture of what I was feeling and choosing forgiveness allowed me to have new feelings instead of the old re-hashed feelings.

I compare this to upgrading from a regular bike to riding an electric bike like my genius high school friend, Tom. The kind that can go 30 or more mph. Life is lighter and I am free to feel the feelings of the present. It turns out the present is the best holiday gift. There is no other better place it turns out, to enjoy those that are right in front of me. This is the gift we at Passion Provokers would love to give this holiday season, because it is available to anyone willing to try.

It does require that you do the work of forgiveness but it is so worth the ride on this new bike.