From Stick With Us And We’ll Get You There by Mary Walker Baron and Jeff Baugh
Let’s take a minute to consider those New Years’ resolutions we make every December 31st. Just about every year we make the same resolutions. The number one resolution for most of us is to go to the gym or at least join a gym. Have weever kept that one long enough to even begin working out more often? How many times did we go to the gym before tossing in the towel? I’ve got nothing against gym memberships, but I think gyms make most of their money from people who join in late December or early January, go a few times, and then never go back. Somewhere there is a huge stack of towels from all of us who have tossed it in.
Write down a couple of resolutions for change that you made either recently or quite a while back. Go on. We’re not looking. We’re certainly not judging, either. We have lists of things we meant to change or start or finish so long you wouldn’t believe we even thought of that stuff. In fact, I’ll write down a couple of my annual resolutions just to help you feel less silly and also to remind you that we all go through this.
1. Lose weight. 2. Write more. 3. Do more serious reading.
How did your plans for change work out? I can tell you that mine didn’t work out and now I know why. They were not clearly defined. They tried to accomplish too much and/or they were generally completely unrealistic.
Take another look at the resolutions I made this year and every year for a lot of years. At first glance they seem like perfectly fine resolutions that focus on improving body and mind and career. So, what happened? First of all, they are really vague. How much weight do I want to lose? How much more do I want to write? And what on earth is my definition of serious reading? Also, how much is more? See? I wouldn’t even know if or when I had met those goals but instead of calling myself a success after one pound lost or one word written or one page read, I’m going to call myself a colossal failure because I didn’t lose or write or read enough even though I never said how much would be enough to begin with!
Okay, so if you want to make changes try to be as specific as possible. For example, let’s take my second resolution. What would have happened if I had written it like this? “For the next thirty days I will write a minimum of three pages per day on any project.” That’s pretty specific. And I could actually probably achieve that goal and finally be able to scratch that resolution off the endlessly repeating list of resolutions.
Let’s make our resolutions specific, time bound and attainable. Success is built on success. Let’s enjoy success during this new year.