It’s that time of year that we start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Some dread this and would rather walk over hot coals. However, many people like to start their year with New Year’s resolutions, myself included. It’s a great way to have a fresh start. In fact, December is a mental planning month for me. I have ideas of things I want to conquer in the coming year, and in December I like to nail down the specifics. Not just the idea or end result; I like to figure out what actions I will take to hit the end goal(s).
Most resolutions are rooted in the fundamental desire to make our lives better. They are centered around some type of improvement, a change in behavior or activities. At The Softer Side, we love activities and next steps that lead to positive results and accomplishments, so it stands to reason that we like resolutions. But let’s face it, they can be hard to keep. In fact, they can be sabotaging. The ‘ol “Lose 10 pounds” haunts us throughout the year. At the first indulgence of sweets, snacks, or drinks, we give up the diet because we feel defeated.
There are a few reasons we jump off the resolutions band wagon. Even though we set out with the best of intentions, there is no repercussion if we don’t meet our goal(s). We decided what we want to accomplish. Resolutions are not the same thing as a mandatory requirement or an official assignment. They’re not a “must have”, they are a “nice to have”. On the other hand, we typically think of our resolutions as all or nothing. Accomplish the whole thing or do/try nothing at all. So, who are we accountable to when we stop working on the resolution? Ourselves. We may mentally beat ourselves up, but most often we don’t punish ourselves that hard.
One of the most profound lessons I ever read came from the book “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews, and it most certainly applies to resolutions. To sum it up, the lesson is:
We judge others by their actions, yet we judge ourselves by our intentions.
Let that sink in for a moment. When a co-worker, friend, business associate or even family member fails to complete an action she said she would, we judge her to be unreliable. When we miss a meeting or fail to deliver on a commitment, our internal dialog is typically “Well I meant to do it, I just had other things more pressing. I’m still a good person.”
So, for those who like to make resolutions and then break the commitment to achieving them, I suggest you approach them with a better approach than in the past. Maybe get an objective accountability partner that you do NOT want to disappoint – that’s always a great motivator. Or there’s an even better way to go about resolutions. Two big changes are outlined in this month’s The Monthly Breakthrough. They’re simple, easy, and much more appetizing than any “Hail Mary” plans you might have considered. And they are far more likely to produce the results you seek.
To check out a new approach to resolutions, get The Monthly Breakthrough here. It will walk you through a new approach and give you examples. Every little bit helps when it comes to working on your goals. Now imagine how good that is going to feel when you see progress!
Jodi Henson is a small business expert, author, entrepreneur and founder of The Softer Side of Success (www.thesoftersideofsuccess.com). She works with aspiring and existing small business owners to help them overcome challenges and attain their goals. If you are looking to define your next steps, contact her at email@example.com.