New year’s resolutions often involve specific goals, such as changes to diets, training and behaviors. They also can also be notoriously difficult to keep as we bump up against challenges: studies estimate that 80% of resolutions fail. Change can be hard!
Consider an alternative approach to creating positive outcomes and a higher quality of life this year: cultivating resilience.
Resilience is often defined as the ability to bounce back after getting knocked down, a quality we employ in the wake of difficulty. This form is often termed “reactive resilience.” We’d like to promote an alternative: “proactive resilience.” With proactive resilience, we plan ahead: it cultivates the qualities of care, engagement and awareness that prepares us for the vicissitudes of life. Upping our resilience changes our general approach to life rather than focuses on specific goals, although strengthening our resilience greatly affects what we can achieve.
Resilience can be developed! It’s not a static characteristic that one has or doesn’t have. Research points to the vast capacity we humans have of cultivating resilience via habits and attitudes. Three are: acceptance that life is change, engagement with that change, and strengthening social connections. Rather than turning a blind eye to signs of disruption to our status quo, proactive resilience sees change as an opportunity to learn, grow, and even reorganize at a higher, more efficient level. And it’s hard, and not even advisable, to go at it alone! We are relational creatures, and connecting around creating change greatly increases the chances for success.
We at the Sun Valley Institute work to enhance proactive resilience on a community level, in the face of economic and environmental uncertainty. We look forward to sharing more, learning more, and working together this coming year!
Wishing us all a happy and resilient 2020,
The Sun Valley Institute Team