Rethink Your New Year’s Resolution Before it’s too Late
You respect yourself less when you break commitments you make to yourself.
New Year’s resolutions seduce us into decisions that undermine self-respect.
Don’t like doesn’t work:
You don’t like your weight. You hate a negative habit. Or the direction of your leadership frustrates you.
Resolutions based on don’t-like and don’t-want doom you to frustration and failure.
Rethink your resolutions before it’s too late.
#1. Not-doing is not the answer.
Talking less helps but won’t lead to success.
Make positive resolutions. Try something like, “This morning I’m going to ask two questions before I make one statement.”
#2. Make a new month resolution.
Shorten New Year’s resolutions by 11 months. Better yet, shorten them by 51 weeks. Make a new week’s resolution. Or a new day’s resolution.
It’s profane to think you will successfully do something for a year that you didn’t enjoy doing last year.
Set yourself up for success. A one-day goal – that you keep – is better than a one-week goal that lasts a day.
#3. Go exceedingly small.
Capitalize on the power of small successes by setting ridiculously small goals. Stephen Guise challenges people to do one pushup a day for a year. Now that’s a resolution you can keep.
#4. Set it and forget it.
Of course, you want to succeed, but don’t focus on success. Focus on daily actions.
The coach who won 10 NCAA National Championships in 12 years never talked about winning. (John Wooden)
Coach Wooden said, “We should never focus on the outcome, but on the activity itself.”
#5. Establish triggers.
- Put your running shoes in front of the door as a trigger to put them on.
- Make a pact with a friend to ask each other about your resolutions every day for a month.
What suggestions do you have for enhancing success in a new year?
Resolutions don’t work, habits do. Habits change behavior. To create a new habit, you need a trigger. (as Dan suggested) And, a new reward to reinforce your new habit.
Sometimes you need to start with hourly goals and start stringing successful hours together to make successful days. You build a successful year by stringing successful days together. Successful years build a successful life, but you have to start with successful hours, or even successful minutes. I’m starting now – are you?
Thanks Laurie. Powerful! “Stringing successful hours together to make successful days.” We need to overcome our need for dramatic interventions.
Thank you, Laurie! Start with stringing hours together is such a nice idea
Working on New Year Resolutions is pleasing exercise with new aspirations and hopes. However, keep the new resolutions to a maximum of five based on your set priorities. Things work if you are sincere and committed. Conscious efforts with a matured mind compel you to go on the right track! Monitor the progress on a daily basis with dairy management, mold your living and work style with new habits, and change the personality to work on better results.
Glad you joined in Dr. Asher. Perhaps if one has 5 resolutions they could be distributed through the year. The first one in January/February, and so on. Cheers.
I like this suggestion of one-day goals (and perhaps daily) affirmations even if extend to one week in lieu of one-year resolutions. Thanks. Happy New Year!
great advice…. Happy new year Sir!
Thank you Paul and Happy New Year to you as well!
Dan, Happy New year’s!
Keep the plate small and take small portions to create your goals. Small steps grow into longer strides. Holding ourselves accountable helps when we enforce our desires. No commitment reflects on us.
Thanks Tim. I think the way to reach high is to begin now in small ways. A goal that paralyzes us isn’t effective.
I loved ‘don’t focus on success’. Sounds counter-intuitive but if your eye is always on the goal, it isn’t on the action and you immediately set yourself up for failure if you don’t get instant gratification.
Thanks for a great post!
Thanks Anna. Yes, grit is about this moment. It’s harder to have grit when we only focus on the distant future.
Twenty years ago I made a new year’s resolution never to make another new year’s resolution and I’ve kept it. Seriously, if I don’t feel strongly enough about something to change it when I recognize it, January 1st won’t make any difference. Since I’m committed to keeping that resolution of yesteryear, I make changes as needed rather than wait until a new year rolls around. No undue pressure and it usually works for me.
Thanks Laurie. A delusional optimism seems to settle over us during the New Year season. I actually held myself back from making a grand resolution. It’s all about small changes.