Three quarters of the year has gone by and our original “resolutions” for the year have likely gone unresolved. Why do we continue to make promises to ourselves year after year that fall far short of the mark? Simple. They lack accountability? What do we lose; what do we sacrifice by not achieving our goals? Apparently nothing painful or pleasurable enough to alter our course in life. We have a tendency to substitute the word RESOLUTION for the word WANT. Many of us have lots of wants. How often have you heard the phrase, “if I won the lottery…”. The reality of this phrase translated means “WANTS” are achievable if others provide (for me) the means to obtain them. If we evaluate this idea, it means we are unlikely to achieve many of our “WANTS” in life.
The definition of RESOLUTION is:
“a firm decision to do or not to do something.” “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.”
The definition of WANT is:
“have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for”
It is my opinion that we interchange these words without realizing their meanings are not synonymous. A “desire” is NOT a call to action. It is a way of expressing a feeling that’s passive in nature. The phrase, “it would be nice” is more congruent with the meaning of the term WANT.
In a little over two months another new year will be upon us. Rather than following the traditional New Year’s Resolution of the past, why not re-evaluate where you stand in life today and where you might rather be. This re-evaluation will fulfill the “WANT” component. Providing yourself a short time horizon game plan with multiple baby steps that are easily accomplished BEGINS the process of achieving one’s goals. We can call this the “RESOLUTION” component. This approach may require many different resolutions (many short time horizon game plans with multiple baby steps) to accomplishing the eventual “WANT.”
Succeeding at these short term goals provides motivation to keep oneself on this new path. It becomes a “fun” game because each small goal is met with success. The “WANT” becomes attainable because the process is easier to comply with since the goals are continually achieved over a short period of time.
This concept (for example) can easily be applied to weight loss. Losing 1 pound a week (the “WANT”) eating a healthier diet and drinking adequate amounts of water (the action of solving a problem or “RESOLUTION”) is an example of combining the WANT with the RESOLUTION. The final component we need to add to this formula for success is ACCOUNTABILITY. This can be accomplished through PAIN or PLEASURE. You can either deny yourself something if you do not follow the “RESOLUTION” or reward yourself something for following it. The “something,” however, must have real emotional value creating a PAINFUL or PLEASURABLE impact on your life.
This approach can be used with almost anything to help achieve real positive changes in one’s life. It satisfies the emotional as well as the tangible components to move forward on a path of success and happiness.
You can follow the past and expect a similar outcome in the future, or you can change the future by following a new approach. I provide this option so that untruths and excuses are no longer needed. As always, I leave it up to the reader to decide.
(Just a little humor to add a smile!)