It’s time to ring in the New Year with the annual resolutions and that usually means the typical New Year Resolutions that people often make. I don’t know about you but I hate to hear the mention of these year-after-year promises to lose weight, stop smoking, work on oneself, make more time for self, make more time for family, etc. This is due mainly to the fact that I have made so many of them and they have lasted about one to two weeks.
Well I am quite frustrated and I suppose you are also as after the first few weeks of 2011 are over, many of us know that we will resort back to our old bad habits. And we’ll forget those resolutions that we just made – AGAIN. Then the feelings of guilt, frustration, and other emotions kick in and we just aren’t happy with ourselves. These negative emotions are then usually cast on to others around us in one way or another.
Why do we all keep doing this flawed exercise in futility? We dream of what could be. Overall, dreams are great as they set the pace for us to try to improve various areas of our lives. Yet how do we overcome the repeated pattern of making New Year’s resolutions only to resort back to the same old pattern of forgetting about them and, basically, quitting after just a few weeks?
The answer to this question is self discipline.
Self Discipline Anything valuable and worth keeping -whether it is a career, a significant other, a marriage, raising children, etc. – requires self-discipline. To have self discipline means that you are able to train yourself and be under control. As adults, we are no longer young children who cannot help our thoughts and actions and have to be guided by someone else. We are to be self disciplined. This requires perseverance, practice, and restraint for the long haul.
To retrain yourself and to develop the discipline of oneself, the old adage of crawl, walk, run should be applied. Start with small goals and train yourself in an area that is not as too tough to break old habits and develop new lifestyle changes in this “easier” area. As you master this task then move on to something bigger. For example, if you have the habit of being forgetful, then make sure to write down what you need to remember. Use your calendar, cell phone, or anything else that will help you remember what you need to remember.
Then move on to bigger things. Don’t start out with the goal of trying to quit smoking when your list of resolutions include something such as taking out the trash each week so that that your wife doesn’t have to remind you. Remember: Crawl, walk and then run.
The longest journey begins with a single step. So in focusing on how you and I (thus WE) can keep our New Year’s resolutions year round, we must develop greater self discipline and apply this to smaller goals before moving on to larger ones.
Be sure to check back next week for another tip on how to turn your resolutions into lifestyle changes that will last more than a few weeks. Let the resolutions begin!