Contributing Writer: Ponderings of an Ohio Farm Girl- Leslie Foster
So, tell me truthfully: how’re those New Year’s resolutions coming? If you’re like most people, you might not have anything positive to say here, almost a month into the new year. We are notoriously bad at sticking to our resolutions, and I think I know why that is. I believe the problem is three-fold: we decide on a resolution without much thought, we bite off more than we can chew, and we don’t have enough accountability.
A resolution should be something, by definition, that we have made a firm decision about. Webster says to resolve means “to make a formal decision about something, usually by a vote; to make a definite and serious decision to do something.” Formal. Definite. Serious. If you really want to keep this year’s resolutions, I recommend that you follow these steps to avoid resolution pitfalls. Easy 5 Steps Printable “From a Resolution to a Reality” at the end of article.
Pitfall #1: Not spending enough time deciding what to resolve about. Be honest (I won’t tell anyone): how long did you spend deciding on your resolutions this year? Ten minutes? An hour? Maybe you didn’t spend that long, because you always default to the same old answers (dieting, exercise, quit smoking, etc.) When you make a formal, serious, definite decision you should put some thought into it. So take some time. Slow down, grab a notebook and a pencil, go to a quiet place, and plan. Strategize. What, how, and when. Think it through. Write it down. Commit yourself.
Pitfall #2: Too much on your plate. Change is hard. It’s often good, but the good doesn’t negate the hard. And when we start the year with a list of 9 good resolutions, we set ourselves up for failure. Pick one, friend. I know that succeeding at one resolution seems a bit wimpy in the shadow of your list of nine, but we’ve already seen how the nine isn’t really working, right? Quality over quantity, folks. Our culture has so deified bulk that it permeates our very way of thinking. More is not always better. Sometimes more is actually less. Pick one.
Pitfall #3: Not enough accountability. Who do we lie to the most? Ourselves. We’re pretty easy on ourselves, because we understand our own weaknesses and excuses. So don’t expect that you can do this alone. If you’re committed to following through on your resolution, find someone who is willing to check in on you, maybe once or twice a week. The accountability can be informal, but it should be there. And you should not pick someone who thinks you fart sunshine. Choose someone you know will hold your feet to the fire, if needs be. Come mid-November, when you’ve had months of success at your resolution, you’ll thank them for being tough on you (and me, no doubt, for my awesome advice).
So it’s almost February. February 1 would be a great time for a new, new start, don’t you think? Take some time to re-evaluate your goals for the year. Pick one to focus on. Write it down, and find an accountability partner who is willing to help you stick to the plan. Then get ready to show the world, and yourself, what you’re capable of!
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