Resolutions? What Resolutions?
Every time a new year begins, we hear a chorus of voices declaring that we should make resolutions for what we want throughout the course of those fresh, 365 days to come. From the media to gurus, ample guidance is given for “how to make resolutions you can keep!” Until we rinse and repeat, next year.
Well, if you’re anything like me, there’s a trail of still-waiting resolutions stretching off into your past.
There’s a better way of engaging in your life–of living your life.
There are four problems with making resolutions. But they provide clues to a better approach.
Resolutions are basically just a list of what you’re unhappy with and, as a result, what you plan on doing differently:
- I want to lose weight.
- I want to make more money.
- I’ll do better in my relationships this year.
- Less TV, more books!
- I’m going to start ________________.
- I’m going to finish ________________.
- This is the year that I’m finally going to _________________________________________.
Observing how we state our resolutions, how we build them in our minds, helps us see why they fail:
- They are too simple. With no details, how will you know when you have achieved your weight goal? How much “more” money will make you happy? When are you “going to finish” the whatever?
- There’s no motivation. Besides have some vague feeling that prompted the resolution, what will drive you towards making the changes? More vague feelings?
- There’s no measurement. How do you measure doing “better” in your relationships?
- There’s nothing unique. Really? This year you want to be healthier, wealthier, nicer…whatever-er? And that’s different than what everyone else wants…how?
We make resolutions because we want to change a certain behavior. Or we want a different result in our life. We want to be a better version of us.
Which is great! Resolve to make it happen. And then make it happen.
- Get specific: Write down what you resolve to make happen in your life this year. Be specific: how much weight? and by when? Do you need the entire year to achieve it? Or only 6 months?
- Be daring! This is your life, after all. Whatever you resolve to change better be powerful enough, exciting enough, and serious enough to keep you focused and motivated. Dream big. Dream really big! Get audacious.
- Embrace accountability. Let’s go back to the goal of having better relationships. With who? Have you asked them how they would measure your improvement? If that’s not an option or just doesn’t fit, decide how you will measure what “better” looks like. Monitor your progress, at least every week.
- Be you. There’s no one else like you. Chances are good that the very things you resolve to change–to make better in your life–might also make life better for everyone else.
The task is to recognize that you are uniquely special, have something to give, some talent no one else shares in quite the same way. This gift needs to blossom so we can appreciate and enjoy the benefits of it and acknowledge you for it. You owe this to yourself and to all of us to honor your gifts, for only when you share your unique joy with the world does the entire world benefit. Every advance humankind has known has come because of someone’s effort. Don’t let shyness rob you and the world of the power and the passion that lies within you. No one can be all that you will be except you yourself. Follow your passion.
Take the plunge!
Dump making resolutions! They’re nothing more than fancy-sounding wishes.
Throw yourself completely into resolve. Embrace your life. Take action. Everyday.
What are things you resolve to change in your life? Have you considered how much better that could be for those around you, too?
Engage here. Please add to the conversation.