Happy New Year! We’ve all chalked up another one, ending a year that filled most of us with feelings of uncertainty and angst. If there was ever a time to have a fresh start and a clean slate, it is now. It has been almost a week since we rang in 2011.The usual resolutions abound; losing weight, changing jobs, finishing projects and spending more time, either with others or set aside for ourselves. The resolutions link comes from Pittsburg and lists the top ten resolutions for this new year. What it doesn’t tell you is that the typical New Year’s resolution lasts for approximately 72 hours. In addition to this, there is a new landscape that most of us are trying to navigate; one that may include economic or work related challenges that can be daunting and, unless you have unlimited resources, changes in lifestyle may be necessary….another unfamiliar, perhaps uncomfortable set of resolutions that need to be added to our growing annual list. We all start out enthusiastic and motivated, ready to make all of the changes that are necessary to improve ourselves and our lives. Why does this commitment fade so rapidly? Let’s examine the reasons for our annual self sabotage and find a path toward successful momentum. This year, we can take a few simple steps toward real progress before our promises to ourselves become a distant memory and another disappointment, a phenomenon as traditional as the Holidays themselves.
New Year’s Resolution failures aren’t due to a lack of willpower. They are lacking a plan. Additionally, many of our resolutions are really to please others, rather than ourselves. If there is something we want to do, accomplish, achieve or put in motion, we can. Lack of knowledge isn’t to blame for not following through. Neither is lack of desire or effort. If there is no logical or rational reason why we can’t do or have what we want, it just could be a case of self sabotage, where something inside is stronger than our desire to succeed. Remember that it takes thirty (30) days to make AND break an established habit pattern. Choose one resolution, make certain that it is something you feel strongly about for yourself, not someone else, and focus on that one change for thirty days. Find a “Trigger”, a ritual to be performed each time you begin to slip into an old behaviour. It could be as simple as snapping a rubber band around the wrist each time you reach for that second sweet treat or find a gorgeous bag on sale that you have to have….simplistic, yes. Does it work? Most of the time. We all have twelve months to work on twelve different promises we made to ourselves last weekend. With a bit of perseverence, our physical, mental and financial lives can be much better and more comfortable as we prepare to ring in 2012. Good luck!