January 1, 2010. A new year. A new decade. Time to get those resolutions down and committed to, so I can strive for a ‘personal best’ this year by breaking last years records of two days.
Two days – yes, that’s what the experts tell us is the average time we remain committed to our New Year’s resolutions’ before we start abandoning them with the same gusto we employ in changing channels when a politician appears on our TV screen and starts telling us what he/she will do for us if we will just vote for them.
Earlier this week a friend was telling me how he is the only person in the world who achieves his New Year’s resolution every year.
Curious to learn his secret I asked, “What are your resolutions for 2010?”
“I have only one. To be a non-smoker for the entire year,” he replied.
“But you’ve never smoked,” I reminded him.
“Precisely, why would I set myself up to fail?”
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Most of our resolutions are triggered by one or more negative events that have occurred in our recent past. Perhaps your resolution to lose those extra forty pounds you’ve been carrying around for the past several years was triggered by your memory of your recent performance evaluation with your boss.
You remember the moment when your boss told you that despite your many shortcomings you still had a job, at least for another year.
You let out a huge sigh of relief and as you exhaled a button removed itself from your shirt, launching itself, missile like, across the desk and causing your boss a serious head injury.
Hence, New Year’s resolution; lose forty pounds and send boss Get Well card.
Setting that resolution creates a good feeling, doesn’t it?
And that good feeling is created by two separate and distinct thoughts – each equally powerful.
- I have finally set a goal, made a decision to do something about something that has been bugging me for a while – a good feeling.
- I don’t have to do anything about it NOW. The new year doesn’t start for a few days/weeks/months so right now I can eat what I want, drink what I want and I don’t have to give this another thought because I am going to deal with it in the new year.
I’m so proud of myself for finally doing something. Way to go, hero.
“Supersize my fries and I’ll have extra gravy on the side. Is it possible to get that burger with eighteen patties?”
Unfortunately we wake up on New Years Day hopelessly ill-prepared to deal with the challenges of achieving our resolutions.
Perhaps we get through the first few days but as soon as that temptation to deviate from the plan hits us, our resolve begins to break and shortly thereafter the resolution is relegated to the part of our brain that is known by its scientific name of The Idiodt (I Didn’t Intend On Doing This).
The truth is our chances of success were minimal in the first place
Setting goals requires a lot more effort than simply making a decision in response to a conversation or an event.
Taking a serious, determined approach to setting goals requires a firm commitment to deep thinking
It requires knowing what you want, recognizing what achieving your goal will do for you and, most importantly, having a reason for wanting what you want that is so compelling that it will prevent you from quitting.
Setting goals is work, which is why so few take the time to do it and even fewer stay with the program.
If you really want to make some changes in your life, find a really good planning process and work through it.
Coincidentally, I just happen to have one.
This year my resolution, for all you adoring fans out there, is to write a new blog every single day.
0800 January 1, 2010. Time to write the first of daily blogs.
0801 January 1, 2010. Not gonna happen.
There, just eight hours into the new year and I’ve given up on my New Year’s resolution.
Like I said earlier, a new personal best. YES.
I feel so proud.
Till we read again.