Resolution Revolution- Part 1

Resolution Revolution- Part 1

So it’s now one month into the new year.  How’s that New Year’s resolution coming along?

Millions of people around the globe have indulged in the common tradition of declaring new year’s resolution for the past 4,000 years. Resolution goals are varied. Most revolve around our health, professional or financial improvement or prosperity. Others reflect our long last desires. The resolve to  take that trip we’ve  been putting off; or I’ll make every effort to amend that broken relationship. Yet, despite all the zeal that goes into these proclamations, only few are met with success. What determines whether your resolution will be successful or be yet another year of empty words. I will be publishing a series on how to obtain successful resolutions.

1. First, choose wisely.

Is the resolution one that truly matters to you?

Resolutions are more easily achieved when they are tied to something we truly value. These values are not just on a superficial level. It must have strong meaning, otherwise, we are unlikely to make the sacrifice necessary for achieving success. So for instance, if you resolve to lose ten pounds by summer. Ask yourself why is this important to me? If you want to be able to rock that bikini or show off that six pack abs on the beach, that’s all good and well, but that may not be enough to get you out of a warm bed to go do your morning exercise. Let’s be honest, for most people we can rock our beach gear by donning the right accessories to accentuate the positive and camouflage the not so flattering. So while that is a nice goal to have, the ‘why’ may not provide enough motivator to fuel the necessary actions for success. Now, if the reason it’s important to rock that bikini is to have a physical achievement (your trophy) that reflects that you are defying the calendar, reflecting your youth still lives on; that you have the strength and conviction to conquer your biggest challenge; by doing this you will know that you are unconquerable and unstoppable. In that case, your motivation is fueled by your internal strength and will be effortless. Your so called sacrifice is now no longer a struggle.  It’s an opportunity to remove the dust and tar from your life that is preventing you from shining.

So think wisely, why is this resolution so  important? Write it down.

2. Is your resolution specific?

Be wary of the vaguely stated goals. These goals, barely qualify as goals. They are mumbled in a whisper, lacking in passion or zeal. They are not stated with any breath of believability. It is hard to be convinced that even the speaker believes he has the ability to achieve these under breath mutterings. Be honest with yourself, do you really want to achieve this resolution. If so, be specific and state it clearly. What is it that you want? What will your success look like, feel like, taste like? If for instance you resolve to be punctual this year. That’s fair enough. But let’s take that a little further. Does being punctual mean you would have arrived at exactly the time of your appointment? Does it mean you will get to your appointment with 5 minutes to spare? This may seem tedious, maybe a bit type A; I admit.  However, if we resolve to do something, lets be serious about getting this done. Let’s state with veracity our intention. It’s much harder to achieve a moving target. We must be specific in our speech, our expectations and our actions!

3. What is your resolution timeline?

There are few things in life that are achieved without a concrete timeline. Most new year’s resolution are assumed to have a timespan of one year for the goal or resolution to be achieved. I would caution against giving yourself twelve months before you can measure your success. If you chose to do so, it may be more realistic to provide incremental benchmarks that may be measured throughout the year. Incremental measurements of success provides the opportunity to tweak your behavior as needed.  Small successes boosts our confidence to tackle more challenging, ambitious tasks. For instance, if you resolve to be more positive in your outlook and disposition. Would you really give yourself eleven months to continue in the status quo and in month twelve resolve to turn this all around? Of corse not, that would be silly. So go ahead, give yourself that deadline. What do you resolve to achieve today? Identify one thing that you can do today to bring you closer to your goal.

So let’s revisit those resolutions. Dust them off and gear up. So we can face 2016 with a resounding- “Bring It!”

 

Does your resolution reflect your values?

Take the quiz

The one thing I want to accomplish this year is: ___________________.

  1. I’ve wanted to achieve this goal for the past:
    1.  1 month
    2. 6 months
    3. 1 year
    4. For as long as I can remember
  2. Achieving this goal will still be important to me in :
    1. 1 month
    2. 6 months
    3. 1 year
    4. For the rest of my life
  3. Achieving this goal will impact:
    1. Myself
    2. Myself and my immediate family
    3. Myself, my immediate family and possibly future generations.
    4. Myself, my family and my community.
  4. If I had to rate my desire for this goal, where 1 reflects indifference  and 4 reflects a very strong desire, I would rate it a __________.
  5. My level of confidence in achieving this goal is:
    1. I have serious doubts in my ability
    2. Somewhat confident
    3. Moderately confident
    4. Highly confident

Scores: Each numbered answer reflects corresponding score. For example, if you answered number one in all five questions your score would be five (1+1+1+1+1=5)

5-9: While it is admirable to have a resolution, we should be careful not to make resolutions that aren’t  personally valued. It may be worthwhile taking a minute to reflect on whether this goal is your own or someone else’s goal for you.  You may also re-examine whether this is the appropriate timing for this particular goal. Unless, there is minimal effort or sacrifice involved in achieving this goal, the chances of success are low.

10-14: Success in your resolution will be determined by whether  the sacrifices needed for accomplishing your goals are, in your mind, worthy of the reward. Take a moment to re-examine your resolution. Are you prepared to make the necessary sacrifices? In other words, are the things you give up, less valuable than the trophy you are chasing.

15-20: Your goal is very strongly based in your values. This increases your chances of success. Stay true to your resolve and follow through with activities. Make this your  year for success.

References:

  1. The History of New Year’s Resolutions, December 30, 2015 by Sarah Pruit

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