Resolutions SUCK. Most of us drop the ball by February, leaving us feeling guilty, unmotivated, and STUCK. What a way to start the new year…not.
We all like to make resolutions: exercise more, eat better, Netflix less, etc.
But these resolutions are nonspecific and vague. It means that there’s not much holding us to them—and it turns out that they’re pretty easy to break. And who does that help? Definitely not you.
We’re here with the RESOLUTION REVOLUTION.
The key? Make promises, not resolutions.
The goal: get you to reach your goals in 2022.
Step One: Make Promises Not Resolutions
While a resolution is vague and open-ended, a promise is concrete and goal-oriented. It’s an action packed, consequence backed, true commitment to yourself and the dream you are out to forward. Resolutions are hard to pin down, but promises are very specific, measurable, and loophole-free, outlining exactly what you will or won’t do — no room for interpretations or excuses.
For example: Resolution: This year, I will exercise more. Promise: Starting Jan. 2, I will jog 30 minutes, four times per week — even on vacation. You should be able to answer the following three questions about your promises: (1) How often? (2) How long? (3) How many?
Why so nitty gritty?
Your mind has a mind of its own. Listen to the voice in your head closely enough and you’ll hear one particular voice we call the Brat. It hates specificity, likes wiggle room, is sneaky, and loves to negotiate. Making a promise that is specific and measurable shuts up the Brat — or at least has you hearing it loud and clear.
Step Two: Go Public with Your Promises
Promises should be public so people who care about you can hold you accountable to them. Going public with your promises is brilliant and courageous. The Brat (see above) not only hates specificity, it hates accountability, as does another contender in your head: the Chicken, the voice of fear. Once you go public, not only will you be more likely to keep your promise, but you will also inspire those around you to fight for their dreams, too
Step Three: Forget Feeling Guilty. Self-Impose Consequences
Huh? Punishments? No! Guilt, shame, and the need for excuses be gone. Designing perfect, immediate, irksome, and FUNNY consequences for yourself gives you the deterrent you need to keep yourself in line. Self-imposed consequences are the final stand against the Brat and the Chicken. They up the ante and help you restore integrity when you let your dream lose and your Chicken or Brat win. The natural consequences of breaking your promises usually come too slowly (i.e. smoking and cancer) for them to work. For example: If you pick at your skin, you must do 100 pushups that day. If you are snappy with a co-worker, you owe them a latte and an apology note before the week’s end. Good consequences organize your brain around solving your problems and making your dreams come true. Without them, your thinking is organized around excusing yourself, feeling guilty, and staying stuck in the behavior you don’t want.
Sounds too simplistic, easy, and not gonna work? Thank your Brat for sharing and, what the heck, dare yourself to do it NOW. Beat the rush and the odds. Make this YOUR year.
Because guess what? It is.