This is the time of year when many of us begin to think about New Year’s resolutions-“I’ll start my diet,” or “I’ll pay off my credit cards right after the holidays are over.” But is the concept of making a resolution a good idea or not? It really depends on the individual.
In the best scenario, resolutions can translate into commitment. Someone sets a goal with a genuine desire to take action, to better their lives in some way, and uses the January date as a deadline to act. In this way, the concept of “resolution” is a genuine benefit, because this person chooses to make it so, at least in the short term.
Unfortunately, though, a resolution could simply become a means of putting off responsibility to working towards worthwhile goals-“I know I need to make this change, but instead of starting now, I’ll do it later.” Of course, despite best intentions, sometimes “later” never comes. We are left with an idea for change, for improvement, that never reaches fruition because it never became a reality.
Even if a resolution is made and begun in good faith, many of us tend to allow our motivation to falter over time. Resolutions usually involve change, which we naturally resist if we are not consistently and continually conscious of our actions. “To err is human,” is Alexander Pope’s famous quote, and that applies to each of us. Without a great deal of determination and self-control, no good resolution will endure the test of time.
So with all the inherent problems in keeping them, is the act of making resolutions still worthwhile? What strategies can help insure their success?
Resolutions can be a positive force for change, if they are embraced as such. Don’t just decide you want to make a change. Actually plan how you plan to accomplish your goal. Do you want to lose weight? What steps will you take? Do you want to get out of debt? What is your financial plan for the year? Write it all out and place it where you will see it every day and can cross off one step at a time.
The best thing you can do to insure you succeed, other than planning, is to get support. If possible, secure a support system to go along with your resolution. The encouragement of loved ones will keep you moving toward your goals like nothing else. Consider having a buddy to share your goal with, so you can commiserate, and triumph together.
So what lofty resolutions do I have for myself for the coming year? I have a book that is undergoing revision, which will hopefully be coming out soon. I want to continue to build the new career I’ve started for myself, which will require a stringent use of time management to balance work and home life. I would like to spend more quality time with my husband, to travel, to work out more, to be more kind and gracious towards everyone I meet.
Wish me good luck on my resolutions, and I’ll do the same for you!