It’s that time of year again… Approximately 47% of the US population goes through the
process of making a resolution, and less than half of those make it 6 months. On a
positive note, 75% make it a month!
These are the 10 most common New Year’s Resolutions for 2012:
1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family
Nothing wrong there.
So why is my article entitled ‘The Art of the New Year’s Resolution’? Well because over
the last almost 20 years or so, I have, somehow, stumbled upon a very simple way to
achieve many goals and resolutions.
And I have taken it a step further, realizing fully, that waiting for New Year’s to make a
symbolic gesture is most likely one of the reasons so many fail. I believe it has to do
with ‘intent’ and also with ‘faith’…
The first step in creating a resolution or goal list is to be honest with yourself. Do I
intend to follow through, or am I jut saying words and hoping for magic? If I intend to
follow through, do I have a realistic plan? What about my history has made this goal
suddenly more important / have I failed to attain this goal in the past? If so, why?
1. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If your goal or resolution feels negative or
draining, it probably won’t last long.
2. Be specific. (or at least more specific than the examples in the list above… for
instance instead of ‘get in shape’ use ‘run / walk 3 miles 5 times per week’…)
3. Pick fewer things to goal set. I say keep it simple.
4. Any day you fail, make a new beginning. Perhaps the most important of all… We all
are human. We are striving to improve. We are going to have days where we simply
didn’t meet our objective. Expect this. Today is a new day. Yesterday is gone forever.
5. It’s easier to ‘add’ than subtract. ‘every time I feel the urge to smoke, I will instead
walk around the block’… Keep positive…
6. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve… You know what you want. Go get it NOW!
Personally I choose to start my new year with a good night’s sleep, and a run or some
exercise on New Year’s Day. So, it’s highly unlikely you’ll see me out on ‘amateur night’
for any length of time. Also, I tend to glean my list of goals during early December when
reviewing my past year.
I have noticed, too the wording is very important. For instance, rather than setting a
‘number’ for a savings or productivity goal, I choose wording such as ‘prosperous and
abundant’… Or for a fitness goal ‘to participate at a high level in a sustainable way, and
to find enjoyment in the process’… or for a relationship ‘to be open to loving trustfully
and with an open heart’…Or for weight loss ‘to move more, to eat less, and to eat real
food’… Sounds corny, but that’s what I have found works for me.
Best wishes for a healthy, joyful, prosperous new year.