I saw a great quote recently that read: “Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.” And here on the eve of another New Year and what promises to contain countless New Year’s resolutions, the idea of “staying loyal to what you said you were going to do” seems quite appropriate. The challenge, of course, is just that- commitment.
Today there is much written about New Year’s resolutions from their low success rate to why wait until 01/01/_ _ _ _ to start something new? While I tend to agree with “why wait”, 01/01 can serve as a catalyst for personal growth, a source of inspiration, if you will, for breaking old habits and possibly starting some new ones. The question remains- how can we do better; how do we raise the odds of staying loyal to what we said we were going to do? Here are a few thoughts:
Know And Be True To Yourself – There are few things that can derail a personal goal more than setting them to please, become more like and/or compete against someone else. Know who you are from the inside out, what you value and believe in, and the difference you want to make in the world. Understand your authentic self then commit to becoming the best version of “you.
Practice Self-Compassion – Plato wrote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” As you reflect on the last year, extend Plato’s considerate thoughts to yourself. The extent to which you set your personal goals, looking back with a sense of contentment and satisfaction and into the future with hope and optimism, will most certainly start things off on the right foot. This will allow an orientation toward accomplishment and positivity.
Edit Your Life – The idea here is to resolve to do a few things exceptionally well. With wisdom comes restraint and with restraint the selection of the critical few versus the trivial many.
Tell A Friend – Better yet tell a few and make them part of “Team Resolve.” We all know the statistics around the exponential impact of achieving goals when we share them publicly. Empower your friends to celebrate progress with you and equally as important, give you feedback when you begin to stray off course.
Remember How To Eat An Elephant – Patience truly is a virtue when it comes to becoming our best self. Most of these endeavors are a lifetimes worth of work where perseverance and endurance are essential characteristics for success. Setting incremental milestones as evidence of progress is essential. And remember, it is about progress not perfection.
Taken at face value, resolution is defined by the Free Online Dictionary as: “The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. A resolve to do something.” 01/01/2014 is in fact the first day of a new year with the key word here being “new.” What are you going to be resolute about, determined to accomplish over the next 12 months and beyond? And, come next spring to early summer, when the mood of all that is good about the ringing in of a New Year subsides, will you still be loyal to what you said you were going to do?