Managing your New Year’s resolutions works just like launching any other business endeavor. Problems occur because most of us jump headfirst into these new efforts with the best of intentions, too little evaluation, and entirely insufficient planning. Having said that, the New Year is a great time set the bar just a little higher than you normally would and really shoot for the moon!
Understand the purpose of a New Year’s resolution. When setting your goals for the new year, you need to decide why you want to accomplish something instead of just making a list of changes and ticking them off. Resolving to paint the deck this year may be realistic and provide a sense of accomplishment, but is it going to provide a meaningful life change?
The new year provides a chance for new beginnings, the closure of old wounds, and a priceless opportunity to reinvent yourself a step at a time. Your New Year’s resolutions need to mean something personal to you and allow you to accomplish lasting change within yourself. A freshly painted deck is nice, but it’s hardly a lifestyle revolution.
Realize that resolutions are meant to be practiced, not necessarily accomplished. Modern life is all about providing you with an immediate sense of accomplishment and pride; meeting goals and achieving agendas allows you to step back and observe your work. Most importantly, once a goal has been met time and energy spent on it may be allocated to other tasks.
This kind of goal-setting has a place, but if a New Year’s resolution is about making a life change it won’t be something you can set aside once accomplished. You aren’t just setting out to lose 40 pounds this year; you’re setting out to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. The dropped weight is merely a flag along the road to this new life. Taking extra time to make changes quickly becomes routine, and what once took conscious decision will soon seem habitual.
You are your own accountability partner. A New Year’s resolution does not mean promising someone else that you will change your behavior or accomplish a goal. This is a chance to step up and motivate your change solely for the benefit of making the change. Your resolutions target aspects of your own life that you realize need to be addressed. The will to work this change and the desire to continually initiate this change cannot be provided by outside partners.
This is a covenant decision made for yourself, to yourself and by yourself. The hardest part of keeping this kind of resolution is the perception that if you fail to do so, you have hurt no one else and have only yourself to blame. This is the root of meaningful lifestyle change. Your resolutions belong to no one else, and though you may have help along the way, their accomplishment belongs solely to your own determination and commitment.
The new year is upon us. Your new life is ahead of you. You want to keep your New Year’s resolutions, or else you wouldn’t have made them. You understand why you’ve chosen this set of changes. You’re committed to their continual practice. You hold within yourself the will and power to make them a reality. All that remains is to do it.