From Resolutions To Reality

Most of us at one time or another has made resolutions at the start of a new year. I noticed the gym has been especially crowded the past few weeks with many who have probably set one goal or another to do or lose x, y, z in the coming year.

This got me thinking about the nature of resolutions and difficulty many face when they set out to achieve x, y, or z. Sure enough, starting at the end of January the gym will become less crowded as many of the those people who had started the year with great intentions lose interest/motivation/energy in keeping their New Year’s Resolutions. How do we go from Where-We-Are to Where-We-Want-To-Be?

Matt already addressed effective goal-setting practices in a great post on this blog during December. Reading his post is a good reminder to have specific, measurable, and realistic outcomes in mind. I thought I’d add my 2 cents before my own resolutions become monuments to my good intentions:

Be Reminded of Your Resolutions. Too often, well-meaning individuals practice the “set-it and forget-it” method of making resolutions – that is, many of their plans are easily forgotten once the Holidays end and the new year gets under way. The easiest way to avoid this trap is write your resolutions down and post in places where you’ll be reminded daily. This also helps you retain your focus and keep your resolutions in mind.

Determine Your Commitment Level. Can you imagine walking up to Sir Edmund Hillary after he scaled Mount Everest and asking, “hey, how did you get here?” And he said, “I don’t know, I went for a walk and here I am.” Commitment is the price you’re willing to pay, the sacrifice you’re willing to give, to go where you want to go. This is a reflective process that asks you to balance to “I’d like to do that,” with “I want to do that.”

You Gotta Believe It To Achieve It. So many times we put limitations on ourselves – especially in the face of difficulty. Anybody reading this post could take a 3-foot board, suspend it one foot off the ground, and walk across it blindfolded. There would be absolutely no problem, because we wouldn’t even think of falling off. But if we took that same board, extended it between two skyscrapers two thousand feet in the air, how many of us would even try to walk across. Now, I ask you, why not? It’s the same board, the same width – the only difference is that the board is suspended at a much greater height. It seems the higher the challenge, the more we concentrate on failure rather than success.

Don’t Share Your Resolutions With Just Anybody.  Truth is, our work towards a goal might not always get appreciated by those around us. There will be those who will attempt to discourage us. “Why would you want to do that?” might be the response. Share your resolutions with those people who are going to give you positive and productive support. Another way to build support is to seek the advice of those who have already navigated the journey you’re starting – remember goal attainment and wisdom go hand in hand!

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