Keeping Those New Years Resolutions
by Bill Malone, MSW, LISW
Christmas came and Christmas went. The New Years Eve celebrations ended with the usual Dropping of the ball in Times Square. Whether we are prepared for it or not, 1999 is here. Are you ready for it? Did you make any New Years resolutions? If you are like me, you probably have. Making New Years resolutions are universal.
I do not know who or when the idea of making New Years resolutions began or why. I will have to make finding the origin of New Years resolutions my resolution for next year. Well see! It is accurate to say that many people make resolutions and many of us do not keep them. Why is it that most of us make resolutions and most of us fail to keep them? Do we have weaker will powers than those who do keep them or are we just lazy?
Keeping resolutions has little to do with being lazy or having will power. What determines whether we keep our resolutions are: (1) The spirit in which the resolution was made, (2) the kind of resolution made, and (3) the potential benefit of keeping the resolution.
If a resolution is made in fun, or because it is the thing to do, the resolution is not going to be kept. Resolutions require making behavioral or cognitive changes in life. If there is not a serious intent in making a change in a persons life, which the resolution requires, there can not be change. Change requires commitment.
The kind of resolution one makes does affect whether the resolution is carried out. If you are a chocolate lover as I am, making absence of chocolate, your New Years resolution is destined to fail. Giving up something that is such a part of your life-style is not realistic. In order to be successful at keeping those resolutions, the resolution should be realistic and achievable. I have been eating chocolate since the time I was a little boy. I do not intend to change it now. What I can do is to modify the amount and the frequency of which I eat chocolate.
When there is little gained in keeping the resolution that was decided upon, the failure rate increases. To keep a resolution and maintain it requires constant looking after, conscious effort and persistence. In the absence of some kind of reward for hard work and effort, motivation declines. Therefore, it is important to assess if the pain is worth the gain.
If you are still interested in keeping the resolutions you have made for yourself, then the guidelines that follow may be of interest to you. If you follow these guidelines, I am certain you will succeed, 98 and 3/4 guaranteed!
Strategies To Succeed
Here are several resolutions I recommend that pay off big, plus, if you cheat a bit, you wont feel much guilt:
If you have an interesting resolution and want to share it with me, drop me a line. My resolutions are going to be easier to keep this year. They include being kinder to myself and others, laughing more and enjoying what gifts I do have. You are encouraged to do the same. Remember, if you try, your year will be happier and healthier most certain, 98 and 3/4 guaranteed.
Copyright 1993, 1999 by Bill Malone. All rights reserved.
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