Sunday, December 30, 2007

How To Make and Keep Your New Year's Resolution

Well it's that time of year and a lot of us are beginning to make plans for the new year ahead. For many of us that means making the dreaded new year's resolutions. You know those little goals we set with good intention and obligation but secretly understand and expect to break before the end of January. Or maybe that's just me.

You know the kind.

I am going to run every single day. soon as that alarm clock goes off at five a.m. I am hoping out of the bed and running my way into a new body.


I am going to start going into the office early and really putting out the kind of effort that will get me noticed by my boss and that promotion I have been wanting for so long.

You get the idea right?

Why is it so hard to keep resolutions? Well in my opinion it's because they aren't realistic. We make resolutions at this time of year because that's what we think you are supposed to do. We focus on things we would like to have or things we would like to accomplish but the thought is more romantic than the work that will be necessary to make it a reality. Maybe we really do want to drop that fifteen or twenty pounds and might even show our commitment by joining the local gym (gym owners love this time of year by the way!). But as the weeks go by, it just becomes easier to go home at the end of the day rather than hitting the aerobics class and before you know it the resolution to lose those pounds isn't nearly as important as catching Grey's Anatomy on the tube.

So how we do make resolutions that we will keep?

  • Start by being clear. What is it that you really want to accomplish by making the resolution? What will sticking to this resolution bring to your life? What will it really mean to you?
  • Don't make a lot of them. Focus is key here. If you are really committed to making some resolutions and sticking to them then make one or two and focus all of your energy on sticking to them. People get overwhelmed when they decide they are going to try and stick to a long laundry list of resolutions and before long it just becomes easier to ignore them all.
  • Feel it. You have to feel the obligation in the pit of your stomach to make the change. This feeling will keep you on track if you know you are about to stray. It's really important to feel it because that is what will make the difference and help you to focus and stay on task to sticking with your resolution rather than taking the easier road.
  • Position...Position...Position. Put yourself in the right position/environment(s) that will encourage and support you, not work against you. If you decide you want to give up alcohol let's say, agreeing to go to happy hour with the crew from work isn't going to help you.
  • Accountability is key. Working hard at something can be a struggle especially if your battle is being fought alone. Engage your family, friends, co-workers and let them know what you resolutions are (remember only do a few) and ask them to help you stay on track. You will be amazed at how many people will rise to the occasion to help you but you have to include them. Don't be shy about the resolutions you are making.
Resolution can be broken into two powerful meanings.

Resolut(e) -

When you are resolute to make a change, obtain a goal or whatever it is you want to accomplish the solution lies in your ability to believe in yourself and take action to make it so. And let's face it, when you do that...when you truly believe in yourself, anything is possible.

Good luck and if you need a little extra push, drop me an email and let's chat.

Ripple On and make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!!!



Tom Magness said...

Great post, Ripple Man! Here's hoping that your 08 will be a great one. I have no doubt that it will! Hooah!

Arlin K. Pauler said...

Hey Steve:
Great post again! Lean, simple and concise. Nothing left to do but to do. “Just do it” and I will! Thanks for the moment of clarity.
In particular I like your point about “Feel it”. So often we make resolutions based on what we think we should do in stead of what we truly want to do. You’re right about the importance of passion to keep ourselves going.
As for my News Years resolution, I want to clear up my internal conflict with engaging prospective clients. I have much discomfort about getting out and meeting people. This conflict results in greatly reduces the rewards of my work for both me and future clients. This is definitely something I want to go the distance on.
So here’s my accountability commitment to my News Years resolution for 2008. I welcome any of you fellow “Ripplers” that want to make a difference by supporting me to execute my resolution. As to what that support would look like, bring what you think will assist me in staying the course – information, inspiration and guidance.
If you are interested post your comments to me on my blog –
Have fun and fulfilling day, Arlin.