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At the close of every year we all start thinking about all the things we wish we did, we could do, or want to do. We resolve to do these things in the New Year. Inevitably we give up on our resolutions. Some of us within days of making them, some of us hold strong until April but in the end most of us give up on what we set out to do. We then proceed to feel like failures. But what if I told you that you’re already close to achieving any resolution you make. Would you believe me?
I’m somewhat of an expert at falling down 6 times getting up 7, so believe me when I tell you I know failure. I know failure about as well as Thomas Edison knew it. I have found 1000s of ways how not to do things. The only thing that separates me from anyone else when it comes to most things is that I don’t know when to quit. So I have kept going with things long after people even forgot I was doing it.
So here’s what I’ve realized in my many years of making resolutions. I was part of the way there before the New Year ever even arrived every time. So here are the 5 signs that you’re already close to keeping your resolutions:
1. It’s Been on Your Mind – Most people don’t wake up on Jan 1 and out of thin air resolve to do something. For most people, whatever they resolve to do is something that they have been thinking about and considering for awhile. For example, you’ve probably thought for awhile that you need to get into shape or you’ve probably been meaning to organize your office for months. That means you’ve already seen what you want in your mind; a flatter tummy, a bigger desk, a place for your projects. If you can see it you can do it.
2. You Have a Plan for It – That’s right you already know at least the first step to get your resolution started. Get the domain name. Buy the treadmill. Get the nicotine patches. De-clutter the office desk. Really all you need is the first step and then every other step will flow naturally from it. Post first blog article. Run on treadmill. Put on nicotine patch. Throw away unnecessary papers. The plan will make itself if you just take that first step.
3. You’ve Made this Resolution Before – Very few of us succeed the first time we try something, especially if it’s something life-altering. So it’s no surprise that most people make the same resolutions year after year. Get fit, be more organized, start a business. We give up after a few months but during the time that we were trying to stick with our resolutions we were learning valuable information — mainly what doesn’t work. Use that as you embark on this new attempt. If you hated CrossFit don’t try that again. If you think the Pomodoro method was dumb, try something else. If your business didn’t take off because you got stuck on the business plan then skip it and just do the business.
4. You Have a Good Reason For It – You may have a lot of extrinsic reasons for doing things; getting a bonus at work, winning a fit challenge, approval from others but those aren’t going to be enough to get most people to stick to their resolutions. You need to come up with intrinsic motivation for these resolutions. For example, I don’t just want to get fit to look better (or like my pre-pregnancy self), I want to get fit so I stay around for my son for a very long time, so I can play with him, and then play with his kids when he has them. The deeper the reason the better. You think about it whenever you feel like giving up and it’ll keep you going.
5. You Kept it Realistic But Gave Yourself Room to Stretch – Hear me out, if you keep your resolution realistic (some might even say small) you will build momentum once you attain it. Don‘t resolve to lose 30lbs; that could take the whole year or longer! Resolve to lose 5lbs. Don’t resolve to go to the gym 5 times a week if you haven’t been going at all. Resolve to go 2 times a week. When you hit the 5lbs you’ll think “that was easy, I could do some more”. When you’re consistently going twice a week to the gym you’ll think this is kind of nice, while you pat your newbie gains, so you’ll add a third day. Before you know it you’re like me and have spent a sizable sum on workout equipment because fitness is life. Maybe we should rename it revolutions because what you really want to do is just get the ball rolling.
No matter what your resolutions are try to focus on no more than 3 things and remember in the grand scheme of things most all of us get better with time and not worse. You can do whatever you set your mind to…it just might sometimes take a little longer than a year. So why not get things started in 2022.
Every Year You’re Alive is Your Year — HAPPY NEW YEAR!