Most of us do this. Most of us are not very successful at doing this–about 90 %, in fact, don’t do this well at all. We don’t make good on the resolutions we make on or about New Years. My strong recommendation is—DON’T DO IT. Why? I believe that resolutions are very unhealthy-certainly mentally and emotionally and even physically. Not in and of themselves but what they have come to represent among us. How many people do you know who have actually been successful at following through with a realistic New Years Eve resolution? Not that many. For me, I don’t think I know anyone.
Before I get to that lets consider the top 10 list of New Years resolutions. This should help understand a good part of the problem and why people are not more successful realizing their goals.
10. Drinking less
9. Volunteering more
8. Be less stressed
7. Travel to new places
6. Spend more time with the family
5. Get out of debt and save more money
4. Eat/diet in a more healthy manner
3. Learn something new
2. Quit smoking
1. The number one resolution across the board is: Lose weight and get fit.
The 5 reasons why people aren’t more successful at realizing their resolutions are these:
1. We haven’t decided whether our resolution is a ‘want’ or a ‘need’ for us. We will usually do much better making changes in our lives when the things that we are considering are things that we want and not things that we need. For example one of the items on the list is to stop smoking. We have made ourselves or have been led to believe that quitting is just about the most difficult behaviour in the world to do. Really it isn’t. Those who find it difficult are those who don’t WANT to quit but rather NEED to quit. Think about it. We really don’t find it hard to make changes when we really want to do something that we feel will benefit us. As long as we see it as a benefit and the quality of our lives is enhanced in some way we will continue to enjoy the change(s) we have made. If you look at the list now and go item by item isn’t that the truth for most of those that are listed. It’s true that anybody can quit smoking or cut way down by using the NRT-nicotine replacement therapy or any other means. However, the goal is to remain ‘quit’. It is to enjoy long lasting change and not short term abstinence. How many do we know that begin, after a while, to sneak out and have a puff or two and then just one cigarette believing that they can, now, manage their smoking problem successfully because they have been ‘clean’ now for a month or so? “I know how to do this now”, they say. This is the song that most sing as they try to figure out when the ‘wheels’ fell off.
2. Most who recite a New Years Eve resolution don’t have a plan of any kind in mind to help support their efforts.
3. Often many set the challenge so high that the goal becomes unreasonable or not ‘doable’. They are either unprepared, not knowledgeable enough or haven’t developed the skill set necessary to support their efforts. It is easier to revise the goal upward than to reduce the goal downward.
4. Many don’t have the ‘staying’ power to see the job done to the end. They give up part way through the change process. (consider #2)
5. No dedication to the idea of change. If your resolution is important enough to be on your list then it needs to be important enough to start working on it right away and not delay it to some arbitrary date on the calendar. Postponing it is the same as given ourselves permission to have a ‘last hurrah.’ Its permission to go nuts and not feel guilty about doing it.
The 5 wisdoms that lead us to change, growth and Success
1. Be informed. Before you attempt to change something about yourself be sure to be informed. Investigate, learn and decide who you want to be–then begin to live it.
2. Be smart. Don’t just jump in and hope that everything will turn out OK. Develop a plan that allows for change and develop a support system that you can depend on.
3. Act directly. Commit to your idea. You have to be all in and prepared to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that comes with pain but no growth happens without discomfort of some kind. That’s the price we pay sometimes for leaving our comfort zones. Do not be deterred by those who do not support your effort to change and to grow. Many will not be happy to see you change so lessen the time you spend with those folks.
4. Never decide in anger. Good decisions usually come from choosing what you believe to be in your best interests. Seldom do they come from anger.
5. Follow your head and not your heart. Your head does the thinking and your heart does the feeling. We often get these mixed up.
When defeat is our only constant we become demoralized and a feeling of negativity begins to settle in. We start to think that we will never get to where we want to be and after that we decide that we will never get there because we are not worthy and we don’t deserve what it is we pursue. Let’s not give defeat an opportunity to become a constant. Spur of the moment resolutions often become the companion of sadness and depression. That’s why I believe that resolutions are dangerous. Don’t do it. Be wise. Be successful.
Anyways, that’s how I see it, All the best–Jim
Any comments pro/con will be respected-please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org OR go to my web page-contact page at jimcloughley.com and please, in any event, pass this along to your friends.