How often has setting a New Year's Resolution worked for you?A new year's resolution is one of the most popular forms of reflection and visualization practices in the world. It's a noble endeavor that can be healthy to embrace. We imagine ourselves stronger, better, more complete. Visualization makes us feel mighty, like we can accomplish anything! The problem with a resolution is the same as any form of visualization practice-- without backing it up with action a resolution amounts to little more than wishful thinking. How can you stop your resolution from fading away and finally make real change happen in your life?
The Moment a New Year's Resolution Fails
The failing of a resolution doesn't happen all at once. It's thwarted over time by some of the most insidious actors we face in our lives.
It all starts with existing vicious cycles that are already part of our lives, the kind of existing habits and actions that don't serve to help us achieve but continuously throw us off the new track we've chosen to follow. The more we are thrown off track the more we are struck by indecision, this diminishes our sense of confidence and leads us to a loop of unproductive questioning.
The questions by their nature form a haze in our intent. From there all it take is us strike a hazard that we didn't prepare for, the feeling that life is working against us takes over. A deepening loss of control makes us resentful of anything we can point to in our lives as holding us back.
The feeling that nothing we do will make a difference causes us to stop wanting to try. Inaction follows and becomes an inescapable weight pressing down on us. That's when we stop taking any action... when the only thing left to us is to defend what we have. All momentum is lost and we stagnate. Stuck in place, our lives begin to flood in around us, and then comes overwhelm. It rips away any hope from us of finding our way again. With the path now unclear, and no actions left to take we fall into despair of ever making the progress we seek.
This is the moment a resolution fails.
It doesn't end there though. This moment of failure goes on to become a subconscious feature of the year, even if we think we forget about it and move past it. Somewhere in the back of our minds we know we gave up and it spreads.
If we allow it, failure will become all consuming.
Our resolutions reflect the highest aspirations we have for our lives, and giving up on them means that feeling of failure permeates through every facet of the year. It weakens our resolve and so our confidence.
When life hits us with a big or even small challenge our resilience is minimal: a short temper, thoughtless reactions, anger with no discernible cause, or a sense of hopelessness are all contributed to by this perceived massive failure.
The good new is, there's a way we can achieve our resolution and just as failing spreads through our lives so will success! We use the momentum to build one win onto another, skyrocketing our confidence and resilience! It's not that nothing happens in our year. There are still roadblocks that get in our way, we just feel like we can handle them better, and so we do!
Start with a Resolution, Move Forward with a Plan
The start of the year gives us a massive boost in self-esteem, motivation, and hope. Use this boost not just to say what your going to do in the next year, but to craft a step-by-step plan that will keep you on track throughout year! A plan that will help you stand tall in the storm with confidence when the challenges of life come crashing down.
Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars.
To turn your new year's resolution into a plan follow these 10 steps:
- Reflect - on your past year.
- Visualize - what your next year will look like.
- Prioritize & Organize - the tasks you need to complete, to achieve.
- Define your Why - about your resolutions, and what the changes will mean for your life.
- Big Picture Overview - who you'll be as a new person, what your year, month, and day-to-day will look like.
- Deconstruct - the resolutions into smaller progressive milestones that are less overwhelming.
- Create 13 Week Road Maps - a months view to make sure you see all the major markers along the way.
- Plan High Performing Weeks - a weeks view keeps you focused and on target to reach your markers.
- Create Powerful Days - a day view allows you to find consistency in taking the small steps that create success.
- Reflect, Review, Adjust - when life throws you off course, re-plot your course to weather the storm.
When faced with hardship nothing can stop the person who continues moving forward. Even if it's done in desperation or fear-- continued forward motion is a super signal to your mind and body that what you want is worth breaking free of your comfort zone. If you've ever achieved a resolution, you're familiar with the moment when you break free of your perceived limits. It's an incredible feeling that requires massive action.