At the end of every year it’s common for many of us to evaluate our lives and make resolutions for the New Year. It’s a natural new beginning and a time to look at the changes we’d like to make. The problem is that we seem to be really motivated on January 1st, but by the time the end of the month comes around those goals are a distant blip in our rearview mirror. What would it look like if we could actually stick with it and make our goals happen?
The problem with resolutions is that they represent change… and change is hard. We can’t just say that we’re going to change; we need to embrace it and let it take us to the next level. It has to be more than just nice words and a dream that we’d like to see happen on its own.
So this year, before we lock our your resolutions, let’s look at how to position ourselves for victory and embracing the change that comes with new goals.
Make Resolutions That Matter. Most New Year’s resolutions fail because the stakes aren’t high enough. When it’s not important, we don’t take our resolutions seriously. Ask yourself; “What do you really need to change?” and “What is really “life or death” for you?” The common resolution of loosing that extra ten pounds might not be much to most people, but for a model, actress, or athlete, it could kill a career. Take the time to really think about what ONE CHANGE can you make that will bring the biggest difference in your life. Don’t make a resolution unless it’s really critical.
Cut Away Negative Relationships. Good relationships inspire and motivate you. Bad relationships suck the life out of you and grind you down. As we move into 2018 commit to surrounding yourself with people who believe in your vision, those who really love you, support you, and care about you. Get rid of the negative people in your life, and surround yourself with people who are convinced of your possibilities! This can be a hard decision to make and even harder to carry out, however, making a break from those past negative relationships is vital to move in to your new future.
Ask Yourself What is Really Important? Take control of your priorities, and you’ll take control of your life. We often fail because we don’t take the time to decide what’s really important. A promotion has little value if it comes at the expense of your family, friends or your personal life. Stop spending so much time on what other people think is urgent, and spend more time on what really matters TO YOU. This means that you’ll have to do some evaluation. This means that some people won’t understand. But remember, this is “life or death” and a chance to change tomorrow.
Eliminate Destructive Distractions. Release the negative baggage from your life. Stop re-living your failures and start focusing on the future. Don’t focus on the darkness of night, but on the new dawn that’s coming. Remember, there has never been a night without a dawn. So, the divorce, the firing, the bankruptcy, the last decision that you couldn’t follow through with, or other disaster in your past does not determine your future. I love the interaction between Pumbaa and Timon in “The Lion King”, when they are trying to encourage Simba:
Pumbaa: It’s like my buddy Timon always says: you got to put your behind in your past.
Timon: No, no, no. Amateur. Sit down before you hurt yourself. It’s “You got to put your past behind you.” Again, this is not always easy to do, but it’s necessary if we’re going to move forward. As long as you dwell in the past, you’ll never discover your destiny.
Think about these four things before you decide on resolutions. Because the truth is, when you know how to position yourself for change, you’ll find that these annual “resolutions” are really not that important, because you’ll always looking for ways to improve your life, year round.
Here’s to new beginnings…. I am personally looking forward to a great 2018!
Happy New Year!
** Portions Adapted from “Let’s Get Serious About New Year’s Resolutions”
by Phil Cooke author of the book “Jolt!”.