I think an example would be helpful to better understand what I mean by giving resolutions their own place and reading or reviewing them daily. Let’s use the popular example of weight loss. This resolution would be difficult to forget because we see ourselves in the mirror everyday as an inevitable reminder. To write down “Lose Weight” and read it every day seems pointless. However, writing down the things you intend to do in order to lose weight and reviewing them daily is important to success.
Take the example of the working mother of two who wants to lose weight. She decides on a few small simple things she will do to change her current routine and help her lose weight. One of them is to take a healthy satisfying lunch to work each day instead of grabbing something from the nearby deli or restaurant. Each morning she is focused on the children, what needs to be done at work, and what needs to be ready when she gets home; she forgets to get the healthy food out of the refrigerator. One night she actually thinks about the next day’s lunch, packs up a healthy meal, and doesn’t give it another thought the next morning as she runs the kids out to the bus stop and jumps into her car.
If this working mom wrote down her small simple decisions about losing weight, put them into an attractive wood box, and simply read them every day, she would begin to remember her healthy lunch.
If you don’t attempt to immediately add your resolutions into you daily time management and your routine, what are you supposed to do with them??
I would argue the power of routine is strong enough to be contemplated as a worthy opponent to our success. Believing we can simply add to our routine or change it is some meaningful way is naive and will find us back in the comfort zone of familiarity before we can say “rumpelstiltskin.” Tough opponents require us to be cunning and smart when we go up against them.
Do not lump your resolutions with the rest of the, sometimes menial, daily list. They deserve better. Create them in written or graphic form and set them apart; give them their own special place and treat them like royalty.
You can immediately add reading or review of your resolutions to your daily routine without much trouble. This is a minor addition and can quickly become an enjoyable and inspirational part of your day.
The point when resolutions go from simply being reviewed to becoming part of the action is the point when we can no longer stand the fact that we are only reading them and not doing them. At this point, routine will gladly give way to the idea of a change.
Today is the day – January 1st 2009. This is the first day of the rest of the year. Whether you have made your resolutions or are still contemplating them, its time to give real consideration to how you will keep them.
Dr. Pamela Dodd, author of The 25 Best Time Management Tools & Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy was quoted in a press release on PRWEB today with 3 specific suggestions for increasing your success rate.
They are great suggestions, but experience tells me they do not address the real cause of resolution fatalities. Dr. Dodd wisely talks about time as the ultimate killer, but does not include the concept of routine. It’s an existing routine – something we all have – that makes it so difficult to keep any resolution that requires us to alter that routine.
Working on time management skills, typically means dealing with the daily to-do list.
Resolutions are personal growth or “greater good” goals and you should not attempt to keep them by immediately adding them into the time management of your daily routine.
Once you have carved your resolutions in stone, take the next critical step of figuring out how you will keep them. Tomorrow’s blog will specifically look at what do to with resolutions to greatly increase your chance of success.
Preparing to stand on the edge of a brand new year is somewhat irresistible to every-day people. As January 1st approaches we can’t help but look back at the previous year and assess or muse; sometimes we discuss it with others, but more often not. Analysis of the past year quickly gives way to a look at the year ahead.
We make New Year’s Resolutions because of the entire year ahead. The months, seasons, and holidays seem to stretch out before us forever and we easily imagine the possibilities. We are more likely to set our sites on new resolutions or goals when we seem to have an endless supply of days in which to accomplish them.
We make New Year’s Resolutions because inspiration lives in the symbolism and freshness of the first day.
The idea that we might miss out on something everyone else is benefiting from is enough to get us to participate in any number of “opportunities”. There is benefit to having a specific time of the year when making resolutions is normal; we can talk about them with friends and family (see yesterday’s Blog), but the down side comes from bringing out our “me too” tendency.
When we “join in” because it seems like the thing to do, we miss out on the benefit of real commitment. A friend of mine explained to me that one of the best ways to move a human being from simply being comfortable to getting something done is to secure their commitment.
When we make a New Year’s Resolution (NYR), chances are it will take us out of our comfort zone for some period of time, which requires a firm and solid commitment. Coming up with your NYR while out partying with a group of friends won’t feel like an actual commitment. We say it, we don’t really mean it, and 10 to 30 day’s later we can’t even remember what it was.
We might make New Year’s Resolutions so we don’t feel left out, but this contributes the NYR mortality rate.
Why do we make New Year’s Resolutions??
When I wonder why we do what we do, my first instinct tells me to look at history.
I learned the following:
New year’s resolutions. The ancient Babylonians began the idea of New Year’s resolutions as a way to start the year off with a clean slate by returning borrowed items.
I learned this:
The tradition of the New Year’s Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.
A clean slate?? Forgiveness of our enemies?? It’s amazing how much hasn’t changed in over 2000 years.
Before we examine the multitude of reasons why we make New Year’s Resolutions in 2009, take a few minutes and look at the sources of historical information about this unique tradition.
Welcome to the first in a series of weblogs about making and keeping our New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been tracking a few of the articles and blogs on this topic and two questions are showing up repeatedly: Why do we make them? Why do we fail to keep them?
These are basically the questions I will take on over the next 28 days.
My personal experience with this over the last, say, 30 years or so indicates many of us do not take the whole New Year’s Resolution (NYR) thing very seriously. A glib commitment can become more detrimental than no commitment at all.
Keeping our resolutions is more complicated. The reasons we don’t keep them are numerous and full of nuance; I’ll begin with one that comes from Leif Enger and “Peace Like a River” when Reuban makes the profound statement, “ . . worry died, as usual, at the hands of routine.” Most of our NYR’s also meet their demise at the hands of routine.
There’s a lot to explore and I’ll work to provide useful nuggets that lend themselves to your exploitation. Since this is my weblog I can shamelessly promote my solutions on our website.
www.thebackplace.com, click on Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions.