EPIC Resolutions

starting goalsResolutions are things we do for about a week on New Year’s Day.  They make us feel better for a little while, but they don’t stick, why not?  I say it is time for a resolution revolution!

If you want to make your resolution revolutionary, take these tips and stand firm on the fact that this year you are going to be a better you.

  • Know exactly what you want. It may take some research, but find out what you need to do to accomplish your resolution.  The more you know about it, the better you will be able to set actual steps to accomplish it.  For instance, if you want to read more this year, go to your library and make a list of books you want to read.  Then, decide how often and how much you want to read.  You may decide to read one book a month, or one every two months. Putting a date on it will make the resolution more real.  When you take action, to dig a little deeper, on your resolutions, they go from resolutions to goals.  You can accomplish goals where you may give up on a resolution.  (BTW: goals are not a bad word, use them well young padiwan!)
  • Make them memorable.  Get creative: post your new goals anywhere you will see them.  Use quotes, pictures, videos, or whatever it takes to inspire you.  The more you surround yourself with what you want the more likely it is to happen.  If you can ‘see’ it happening, you can make it happen.  Your brain does not know the difference and you will succeed.
  • Give yourself rewards.  When you accomplish a little bit towards your goal, have a reward system.  This will trigger your brain to thinking you are doing good and give you a sense of accomplishment.  If you are trying to eat healthy, it might be OK to reward yourself with a big milkshake once a week to remind you that you are doing a good job.  These rewards are something to look forward to when you are wanting to cheat a little bit on your resolution.  They give you that extra edge to get past your weak moments.
  • Change your definition.  Resolutions came from a word meaning “to break into parts.”  When you create a resolution, you break it into parts to decide if you could handle it or not.  The word has the essence of “solving a problem,” meaning that you should look for ways that you can actually accomplish your task.  People take promises heavily; your word is your bond.  When you make a resolution, you are deciding that you want this year to be a better year.  You are making a promise to yourself and you should take it seriously.  If you can’t break it into action steps on how you will accomplish this task, you may not be ready to make it your resolution.  When you make it a promise to yourself, there is a better chance it will last.
  • Involve others.  If you are going to make a resolution, tell others.  Make a pact with someone you know and it will become more real.  My wife and I are trying to eat healthier.  When one of us mentions a ‘not so healthy’ food, we gently remind each other of healthy alternatives and that we have a cheat day coming.  If you want to hold true to your commitment, enlist people who care about you and want to help you do better.  Have them think of ways to help you, for instance a text reminder from a friends will give you little boosts to remind you that you can do it.

Remember: this year can only be different if you make it different.