I love new beginnings. The beginning of the day. Mondays. The first of a year. New starts, to me, bring renewed hope for what can be. I may have messed up in the past day, week, or year, but I have a renewed sense of purpose and resolve to do better when I feel there’s a fresh chance to meet my goals.
When I ask friends and coworkers about making New Year’s resolutions, I often get the response, “Oh, I don’t make them – I’m not going to actually succeed at them, so why bother trying?” Unfortunately, we tend to go into the New Year filled with the hope of what can be, but quickly lose motivation in the busyness of daily life, and our intentions are lost – usually within weeks, if not even days. Then we start kicking ourselves for yet another failure, for not having enough willpower, for being such a loser … and who really wants to go down that road?
So why does this happen?
Well first, let’s take a look at the word resolution so we are clear on what we are talking about. The word “resolution” is defined as “a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.” It is also “the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.” It can be “the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.” So basically, a resolution is a goal that you have firmly determined to achieve, and you have a course of action to achieve it.
So let’s break this down. First, it is something that you have firmly determined to achieve. There is a difference between wishing for something, and actually setting your intention on achieving it. More often than not, when we set our “resolutions,” we are merely making a wish list, but do not have ‘firmness of purpose’. Why is this goal important to you? Do you have a strong motivation? Are you truly willing to do what it takes to get there?
Secondly, a resolution includes a course of action to achieve the goal. Willpower alone is not going to get you there. We need to prepare and set ourselves up for success. This requires several steps, including envisioning what success in this goal would mean and clarifying our motivation, anticipating the obstacles that are likely to come up along the way and planning strategies to overcome them, and setting up the support we’ll need along the way. Without a specific plan and a step by step course of action laid out, we are not likely to go far on our journey toward our “resolution.”
So, what about you?
If you set a resolution this year, would it be the same one you set last year? Or the year before that? How would your life be better if you actually achieved your resolution? How would you feel at this time next year if you were living the results of that big win?
If you are like most people, you would really like to make some improvements in your health this year – lose weight, have more energy, create a healthier lifestyle for long life… but perhaps you lack a plan or the confidence that you can actually achieve it. If so, I’d like to help! As a health coach, I can partner with you to clarify what you really want and why, develop a plan that fits your personality and schedule, overcome limiting beliefs and negative self-talk, and make 2013 the year that you actually achieve your health goals. I invite you to work with me and end 2013 with living the health and life that you want!
I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!
To your health and success,