The Anatomy of a Resolution
We are in the Resolution stage of 2017. Far and wide people are announcing their resolutions for the year. I did some quick research and, in short, resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. Some synonyms are: intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim or plan. How great that is! All we must do is firmly resolve that whatever we did or didn’t do will now be corrected. That sounds easy. BAM. I’ll take one New Year’s Resolution please.
What’s missing from the resolution formula is a plan and a set of reachable goals and without them things can go wrong quickly. Let’s say a resolution is to add four ounces of water to a six-ounce water glass. That sounds like a reachable goal. Go for it. But now here comes February and nobody ever checked to see how much water was already in the glass … whoops! There are five ounces of water in there! This is the wall we slam into. We promise to make things happen, but we never think through what needs to move out of the way to accomplish it, often making our resolution impossible.
For every resolve to spend less time online, use coupons more often, lose 20 pounds, spend more time with family, start taking yoga (or your class of choice), save more of our paycheck, finally revamp the back room into an office or guest room, and so on – what is the counterbalance? HOW is the word:
I will spend less time online: I won’t shop online. Or I won’t post comments on so many posts that scroll by on Facebook. Or I will evaluate my impact on the mission for the groups I am a member and reduce my memberships. These are plans; these are ways to make your resolution happen.
I will use coupons more often… ok, so what part of your time are you exchanging with your new coupon clipping and shopping via the coupons time? There must be balance. We don’t get time beyond the 24 hours simply because we have a resolution.
Lose 20 pounds? That is outstanding, but this is one of the most popular resolutions and the most often failed. The reason? No plan.
Spending more time with family, working out, learning something new, revamping part of the house, etc., requires spending less time elsewhere.
Lastly, saving more money requires one to really work through their budget, decisively finding the means to achieve this goal.
There are hosts of people who shoot from the hip through this whole resolution thing. They will read the above and say, “I will figure it out, it will happen because I will make it happen.” I encourage you to take this more seriously specifically because doing so can lead to incredible results.
Achieving goals feels yummy. Every time we hit a goal our adrenalin rushes and we feel a high. We did it! Yaay us! You have defined your ultimate goal – it’s your New Year’s resolution. Now it’s time to break that goal down into mini-goals: small, achievable goals that you can reach sooner. These are just the shot of vitamin B we all need to keep pushing forward. It might not be possible to all of a sudden be with your family an additional three hours a day. You might have to make several small shifts at work, trying various ideas until your new set of work life activities run smoothly. If at first you are getting home a half hour earlier, and you keep that up for a month (and consistently thereafter), you have hit a mini-goal and need to clear to floor for a happy dance.
All the dieters out there will need to find a balance of exercise and diet that keeps them fueled and healthy, not starving and thus retaining what little they eat. There are so many things to learn on the road to weight loss, even a three pound drop that is maintained for two weeks straight should be celebrated.
Write out your mini-goals and a time frame for each. Use that map as your plan for successfully reaching your resolution. Doing this with both eyes wide open means a high likelihood of success. For instance, don’t set a mini-goal for the week before a major holiday.
Lastly, a person must have integrity. Having integrity about your resolution is imperative. Let’s look at what that means. Imagine you are standing in front of a mirror, in your left hand you are holding a symbol of your resolution, in your right hand you are holding a symbol of your past ways. So long as your left hand does not know what your right hand is doing, you are not integrated (you lack integrity). When your entire self agrees on the direction you are heading at all times, you are integrated: you have integrity.
When you kneel down and pray, those hands meet.