The secrets of a good resolution

The impending new year usually gets people talking about resolutions. Personally, I am not one for the typical new year’s resolutions…I mean why wait for January 1st to make the changes in your life that you feel are important? There is something to be said about having a deadline to get started on a goal, however. Especially a deadline that is only days away.

For many, the new year seems like a fresh start and so often they decide on a ‘lose weight’ or ‘get healthy’ sort of resolution. It’s why the number of gym memberships spike in January. Those are great resolutions, so why is it that within a few weeks, those same gyms see a drop in people attending?

Besides having a start date, the trick to a good resolution is that it is not just a wish. It should be measurable. Specific. Resolutions are firm decisions, to do or not to do something; the action of solving a problem. Just like other goals you may have for yourself, you have to know HOW you are going to get there. It is the difference between saying ‘In 2018, I am going to go to the gym more’ and saying ‘For the next 4 weeks, I will be going to the gym on Mondays and Wednesdays for 30 minutes over the lunch hour’. Measurable. Specific.

One also has to have the right attitude toward them. Resolutions are only as good as the belief that they will be successful. Believing that you can and reminding yourself of the concrete steps you are taking can be powerful in overcoming the cynicism that the change is too overwhelming. Baby steps. Continuing daily. Abraham Lincoln has said, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Have faith in yourself. Celebrate the small successes. Remind yourself where you are headed and that you are progressing.

Another trick to resolutions is to have the disposition that they are life changing. The desired result of a resolution is usually permanent. If your resolution was to lose 10 pounds and you achieved it, you will not likely say to yourself “Well great! I did it. Now, I can just gain those right back.” I think the reasons most new years resolutions fail, is because people don’t view them as the long-term changes that they need to be.

“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them” Benjamin Franklin said. If we are honest, most of us know what it is that we lack or need to change in our lives. Take time to consider and make a specific, measurable resolution this year to prove my theories correct. Don’t quit because it gets hard and don’t be afraid to enjoy the small good right now. When you look back over the year, you will see the journey was worth it.


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