resolution |ˌrezəˈloō sh ən|
1 a firm decision to do or not to do something : she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more | a New Year's resolution.
2 the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result : going to law school has become the most important goal in his life.
• the destination of a journey : the aircraft bumped toward our goal some 400 miles to the west.
Something I know about myself is that I can’t make New Year’s Resolutions. It’s too black-and-white. “To do or not to do”. Yes or no. Yes is success; no is failure. As someone who’s hard on myself, it’s simply too harsh.
Instead, I make goals. It helps me recognize that even incremental steps are positive. Rather than beating myself up for missing a workout, I can be pleased that my average number of workouts per week has increased. Instead of feeling I’ve failed by eating a cookie, I recognize that maybe I only had one or that I’ve increased the vegetable and whole grains in my diet for the last several days.
Some people prefer an all-or-nothing approach. Perhaps they’re more disciplined than I am. Perhaps they’re more comfortable with failure than I am. Certain personalities work best when there are specifics to a resolution, like a sales minimum. “I will eat 4 servings of fruit and vegetables a day,” or “I will run 5 miles every day.” Many set those goals and achieve them.
I’ve also seen friends and family who suffer the flip side of the all-or-nothing approach. If they’ve slipped slightly from the resolution, then they bag the whole thing. If they’re going to have a hamburger, they figure the diet is over, so they might as well get an extra large order of fries and a sundae for dessert.
Real life intervenes with my perfect schedule and I have to forgive myself for flexing. Cop out? Perhaps to some. For me, it’s a sanity saver and better for my emotional well-being. It’s easy for me to fall into a “coulda’, woulda’, shoulda’” frame of mind. Instead, I try to recognize that I don’t have complete control over everything and move on from there.
Example: I started writing this December 31st, hoping to post by January 2nd. Instead, my grandfather went into the hospital, then to ICU. Reality check: time, energy and focus need to change. This, and several other things, had to be rescheduled.
Hopefully you all know what methods work best for you to encourage you toward whatever you wish to achieve, whether it be a personal, financial, or career-related goal. If, like me, a resolution carries a negative taint, I encourage you to be proud of yourselves for moving in the right direction and be a bit kinder to yourself for any slips along the way. Success is not only in the final goal, but in each step along the way.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, and successful new year!