People hate New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t keep them. The 10 lbs Dick was going to lose last year are still hanging around. Jane’s new exercise plan got pushed aside because of other priorities. The clutter Sally wanted to control somehow managed to take over her house again. So what’s the point of making a New Year’s Resolution if you know you’re going to fail, right?
If you know you’re going to fail, there is no point. Only an idiot bets on a three legged horse.
Resolutions aren’t designed for people who “want” to change or for people who “wish” things were different. They’re designed for people who are sick and tired of the status quo, for people determined to do something better next year in spite of the challenges they will face along the way. Resolutions require a focused and unrelenting commitment to improve. For people with that mindset, New Year’s is exciting. It symbolizes a fresh start. It’s an opportunity.
2012 is almost in the history books. The year you just lived is your personal history lesson and the experience and wisdom you gained gives you the opportunity to live better next year. Look back and think about the things you’re proud of as well as the things you wish you did better. Will 2013 be a repeat of years past or will you finally break an old habit?
Four tips to help you succeed:
- Pick something extremely specific. For example, instead of keeping your house clean, resolve to clean the kitchen before going to bed every night or instead of starting an exercise program, resolve to walk for 30 minutes after dinner every night.
- Shorten the time frame. Don’t take on the entire year. Start with January. Resolve for one month and then re-evaluate. It takes about a month to change a habit so if you can survive January, you’ll be well on your way.
- Recruit your friends and family. Make sure everyone knows what you’re trying to accomplish, even if it’s embarrassing. Besides, a little humility just makes you more real and the added accountability will help you stay the course. Why not get a few friends on board and start a texting support group? It’s fun and it’ll dramatically increase you success rate.
- Don’t give up when you mess up. You’re not perfect. Life isn’t about perfection, it’s about becoming a great version of yourself. When you fall down, get back up. Happiness comes from getting up one more time than you fall down. Never quit!
Happy New Year!