What is your New Years Resolution? How do you plan to accomplish your goals? What will be different about 2009 for you?
I plan to lose 10lbs and I have just joined the gym. I also plan to not leave my assignments until the night before they are due.
I always have good intentions, lets see how long they last!
It will be different in that I am expecting #3 baby around September, and my resolution is to practice being more patient!!
Well how many of us will keep the New Years Resolutions that we make??
Most of us use the New Year as a time to take stock of our lives. The break over Christmas gives us a bit of a breathing space between the turkey, mince pies and the round of jollity. Many of us make promises that we convince ourselves we’ll try to keep this time. Those more cynical simply recognize that we will fail so make the resolution not to make a resolution. Even so, if you question further, they to have aspects of their life they would love to change but are honest enough to know that they are more likely to fail so don’t even make the attempt.
It is midnight on New Year’s Eve – of the huge numbers of us who promise to give up smoking, eat more healthily, take action to create a more fulfilling social life, or do more exercise over ninety percent will have given up by the end of January.
Ask any gym and they will report that more subscriptions are in name only within four weeks. The first flush of exercise in the early days of the year has become a forgotten dream or yet another thing for that voice in your head to torment you with.
Why is that? Well we have the mistaken belief that willpower by itself is enough.
Let’s take the example of losing weight. Well over half of all women in the Western world have been on a series of diets. Indeed, many of them report that they have lived most of their lives on one diet or another. Whilst on the diet they lose weight. If fact they are past masters at losing weight. If you ask them to calculate just how much weight they have lost over their life time it the total is a very significant number.
Losing weight is not actually the problem, it is sustaining a weight level which is healthy and where they feel good. They fail because they are trying to tackle the wrong problem. They are asking the wrong questions of themselves.
The same is true of any other aspect of your life. Simply promising to do something to improve is likely to end in failure unless you get to the “why” which underpins the behaviour. “Why do we do ----, what does it do for us?” Food may comfort us or a sense of being cared for; smoking may give us permission to have five minutes of me time, or give us a feeling of being calm and in control. Once we understand what that behaviour actually gives us we can then find an alternative which is far less destructive.
The second aspect which governs our behaviours is our beliefs. These are often installed at an early age, and even when they have outlived their usefulness they can still pack a real punch and drive us to behave in ways which are potentially destructive.
I was working with a client last week who is driven to succeed, despite the fact that he has surpassed any need to prove anything to himself or others. His parents had very high expectation of him academically. They praised him hugely when he did well at school. He made the connection that academic success earned him love and appreciation. Forty years on he is still using the same rules to live his life. Paradoxically concentrating on work to the exclusion of his personal life has actually cost him the love and appreciation he so desperately wants.
Having challenged the relationship he has with work it is now proving possible for him to change the patterns of behaviour which govern his life.
If you want a life that is truly fulfilling in every aspect it is time to seek out the right questions and question your behaviours and what underpins them. Make your New Years Resolutions a success story – create a life you love! If you are reading this at any other time of the year why wait till January 1st to take control of your life?
This year, I made four resolutions, which I consider prudent and acheivable:
1. Bring our concrete and framing crews into an in-house Union, instead of the three competing Unions that we contract with presently. It will net higher pay for the contract employees, reduce our overhead, and promote faster completion of selected jobs.
2. Across-the-board 5.8% cost-of-living wage increases for all tenured employees. That will be an increase 1.2% greater than Contract. We want our people to be well motivated, particularly those who handle hazardous materials (e.g. explosives).
3. Eight new positions for trainees: cabinet (2) upholstery (1) heavy equipment (3) and surveyor (2). These will be standard Union openings, per existing contract.
4. Replace one aging Freightliner, one already over-age International, and replace with Kenworth, to be consistent with the rest of our fleet. That way we only have one make of tractor to pull our sixteen trailers and 34 construction implements.
I don't know why people make New Years' resolutions they do not intend to keep or cannot keep. A resolution is a promise you make to yourself, to do what you should already have been doing.
If I made a resolution to cease punning, I know I could not keep it.
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