Would it surprise you to know that lose weight is one of the ten most common New Year’s resolutions? What about the rest of the resolutions in the top 10?
More family time
Get out of debt
Learn something new
Find “the one”
Find a new job
We have heard these time and time again. This does not make them bad, nor does it make them foolish. And yet, if I were the life coach for anyone making these resolutions, I would ask them some basic questions.
Question 1: How will you go about achieving this resolution? In other words, what is your game plan?
Question 2: Who do you want to do this for? Yourself? Your family? Your significant other?
Question 3: What, if anything, may hinder your progress in achieving this resolution?
There are countless other questions I would ask, mostly depending on what direction my client’s answers went. In life, we like to make resolutions, to set goals. It gives us something to look forward to. According to a Forbes article from 2013, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions, however. Not only that, 94% of people make the same resolution the very next year.
These can be depressing statistics and yet there is a simple explanation for it all. We focus on symptoms as opposed to root causes. Getting a new job may be in our frontal lobe but asking ourselves why we want a new job is an important question. Otherwise, we find something new only to feel the exact same way we did in our old job.
I want to share 4 basic resolutions that, if taken to heart and acted on, can pave the way for accomplishing anything in your New Year’s resolution Top 10, or Top 100 for that matter. Here they are.
Resolution 1: I will prioritize my goals.
Prioritization in life is incredibly important. Things take time, money, personal energy, the time and energy of others, and so on. Until you decide that you will take stock in all that you want to achieve and begin prioritizing, you will find yourself in a losing battle with a simple game of math. Time, energy, and money are finite, that is inarguable. Make the math work by taking a realistic stock of these things and devising a game plan. Don’t forget to set aside some down time for rest, relaxation, and a little bit of crazy. This is healthy and necessary. And remember, when you achieve a singular goal, it will give you the confidence to move forward and knock the next one out!
Resolution 2: I will learn to fully love myself.
One of the simplest concepts in love and life is that you must love yourself if you are to have a healthy relationship with anyone. Before you set a goal to find the one, spend more time with family, or find a new job, but love yourself. Find that confidence, that inner strength, and take time to fully embrace it. Otherwise new jobs and new beau’s will leave you empty. On the other hand, if you fully love yourself, it may be easier to lose weight or get out of debt. Simply put, when you love yourself, you want only the best of and for yourself.
Resolution 3: I will focus on why before I focus on what and how.
What’s your motivation for doing or striving for something? Ask yourself this question before you put forth any of your precious time and energy. Unfortunately, we are very good at wanting to do something because of the judgments of others or because we are trying to compare ourselves to others. These are not healthy reasons to do anything. Want to lose weight? Great! So long as your desire for doing so is about your own mental and physical well-being as opposed to the desire of someone else. I once had a client admit to me that her resolution of doing volunteer work every week stemmed from her judgmental mother who long derided her for not giving back to the community enough. Doing something that is not in your head or your heart will not be productive for you, or anyone on the receiving end.
Resolution 4: I will make every challenge an opportunity.
Sound prophetic and touchy feely, eh? Well, we are not a product of our environment; we are a product of how we respond to our environment. How about making a resolution to see challenges, and there will be some, as opportunities? This shift in thinking will not only change your disposition, it will also change the outcome. For instance, perhaps you smoke or drink as a means of dealing with stress or challenges? If you decided that you were going to look at new challenges as opportunities and approach them from that lens, smoking may be an afterthought, whereas today it may be your default coping mechanism.
There is a song that came to mind as I was writing this article. It is by a one-hit wonder band called Sister Hazel. It is titled ‘Change Your Mind’ and it is all about the things we tell ourselves. If you are going make any resolutions stick, you must figure out, and change, your mind. Read the chorus below and click on the link to hear the song.
If you want to be somebody else
If you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind