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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Have you ever made any New Years Resolutions? It seems everyone has, and it seems everyone writes about it too! If you Google the topic, it's amazing how many lists are so similar. It is also amazing, if you look at the most FAILED resolutions, they are about the same! Does ANYONE actually accomplish what they set out to do?

From multiple sources, the following keep popping up again and again and again in no particular order -

Drink less.... Eat healthy.... Education/learn something new.... Getting a better job.... Lose weight.... Save money.... Less debt.... Less stress.... Quit smoking.... Travel.... Get organized.... Enjoy life more.... Spend more time with family and friends.... try new foods....

Ask any experts and they will tell you a goal needs to be measurable and trackable to have hope of being successful. Common sense tells us that sounds like MORE WORK!!!!! UGH......

My tip for those that will torture themselves with having the desire to achieve and the fear of falling short? Pick one life-altering event to commit to. One that you KNOW will make you a better you. One you will be proud to cross the finish line a winner. It may be one of the above or it may be something unique to you. Whatever it is, own it. Realize you have a reason to work at it. Realize you will HAVE to WORK at it. If it was EASY, you wouldn't have it on a list at the beginning of a new year, it would already be done. Set yourself up for success by having a plan A and a plan B, plan C and however many you need to see results. Consider it a success if you see results even when they may not be as lofty as you originally set. Three steps forward and two steps back still means you ARE one step forward of where you started!

Also, pick some easily-attainable-but-always-on-the-backburner type things. Cleaning out the closet, or fixing the back door, or cutting up a credit card or three. The feeling of achievement is unlike most. It gives you a high that, along with a mental pat on the back, changes your perspective on everything. The downers are not so down. The image you have of yourself is put on a higher place because you set a goal and you aced it. Done. Complete. Moving on to the next!

I look back at my own lists of years gone by. I always made 10 goals....

Oh boy.... I had the usual save money, reduce debt, to eat better, but me being an insecure, affection-starved, hormone-raging young man, I also had goals for my lovelife on it. How I thought I would actually REACH those goals, of course I had no idea. My success rate of my entire list was less than 40%, pretty typical I now know. And yet, the fact that over 6 of 10 were disasters made me feel worse.

And that is the biggest problem. We have good intentions, we see the finish line and the rewards, but we are not willing or not able to do the work required to achieve the goal. Should we not reach for the stars and settle for the moon?

Well.... not if it's the same old stars you know deep down are nowhere near your grasp. The feeling of defeat is hard to overcome. What do you usually prescribe for the pain? Bad food, spend some money you might not have, make a mess, and be grumpy!

Oh well... there's always next year.

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