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Resolution Check Point: Let Yourself Off the Hook

February 18, 2014

Resolution Check PointIn the UK, they dubbed it “Fail Friday.”  Friday, January 24th was the day they predicted the Brit’s collective willpower would wain and resolutions would be broken.  Only 3 percent, the “Independent” article says, are likely to keep their resolutions for the entire year.

In Canada, CTV’s story “Making, Breaking New Year’s Resolutions an Annual Tradition,” experts say that the best way to keep your resolution is to make sure they’re attainable.  They’re on to something.

If you’re a resolutions maker who makes them but doesn’t keep them, here’s an important tip.  This year, let yourself off the hook entirely or keep it simple.

Many times, the goals we set are like climbing Mt. Everest.  On January 1st, we stand at the base of the mountain looking up the top, feeling good about what we can achieve.  Then we start the climb, rarely seeing the kind of progress that would motivate us to continue.  Taking on any super large task or lots of them often leads to failure.  Keeping the goals small, few and within your reach is the better plan.  Give yourself some small milestones to celebrate.  These “wins” will keep your moving forward.

The New Year also represents an artificial and external reason for change.  That’s why now is just as good a time as any to revisit your resolution, revamp it and make a plan for achieving some or all of it.

It’s never too late to start, or start over.  If you do, choose goals you really care about, not just items that you should do or ought to do.  “Shoulds” and “oughts” suggest trying to live up to external expectations and pressures.  It’s not a goal that’s truly aligned with who you are or want to be.

Instead, opt for the one or two things you really want to do…items where your motivation is internally derived.  If you really want to do it – whatever the goals is – because it matters to you, you’re more likely to go for it with gusto and stick with it longer.

It’s February.  Forget the large or long list of resolutions.  Let yourself off the hook.  Commit to the one or two things you really want to achieve in 2014.  Write it down. Review it daily.  Commit to it and give it your full focus.

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