This is the time of year where the word resolution is misused by millions of people. We will examine the formal definition. Next, we will look at how it is commonly applied to New Year’s Resolutions. Last, we will examine what it means to go after a goal with true resolve and how you can make this year different than any other year.
I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t think most people actually make resolutions. They make a list of things they would like to happen. They will usually attach a list of actions they should do to achieve it. Should is a word for the underachiever. It implies that your values aren’t in line with your actions. No one does what they should. They do what they must. They do what is in line with their true values.
That brings us to the formal definition of resolution; a firm decision to do or not to do something. The critical word in this definition is the word decision. Tony Robbins provides the best definition of the word decision.
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken action. If there is no action, you have not really decided.” – Tony Robbins
A real resolution is when we commit to doing something until our goal is reached. Attaching deadlines to goals is important, to create a sense of urgency and avoid procrastination, but when we truly resolve to do something, we promise ourselves we will never quit until we have achieved it.
When we resolve to achieve something, we are saying, we will do it until. We will do it or die. Sounds serious. A true resolution is serious. We make resolutions because we aren’t satisfied with some aspect of our life. We aren’t going to improve it with a half-hearted desire to do better.
“How long should you try? Until.”— Jim Rohn
This year, we can choose to take a new approach.
1) Identify ONE Keystone Habit that will eventually produce our desired outcome.
2) Resolve to do it daily, until our goal is reached.
I don’t know what your goal is, but I have provided some typical goals and the keystone habits associated with them. The best way to improve your consistency is to track it. The Strides app allows you to create instant habits by programming action trigger reminders. The app also tracks completion of each daily task. Recording completion of these activities will naturally cause you to become more consistent. What gets measured, gets managed!
|Lose body fat||Log your food to create a caloric deficit|
|Get fit||Daily exercise (find something you’ll enjoy doing)|
|Get out of debt||Log your spending|
|Improve your attitude||Create a gratitude list|
|Become an expert||Read 30-60 minutes daily on the topic|
|Become a better writer||Daily writing|
|Improve your relationship||Learn your partner’s primary love language and take one daily action.
You’ll need to read the 5 Love Languages.
We often make the mistake of making too many changes at once. This causes us to dilute our efforts and our results. We will do better if we focus on making one change at a time. A large measure of Steve Jobs’ success at Apple, can be attributed to his ability to focus all his energy on one great idea at a time. He realized to produce phenomenal products, he had to narrow his focus.
An entire book was written about the power and necessity of focusing our efforts on one goal at a time. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, asserts that by focusing your energy on one thing at a time, you can live a more rewarding life, build your career, and improve your personal relationships.[i]
Crucial to our success will be adopting the keystone activity long enough for it to become a habit. The latest research suggests it takes approximately 2-months to make a habit sustainable. During the initiation phase of the behavior, I highly recommend you get a daily dose of motivation.
We are told motivation is fickle and doesn’t last. That is absolutely correct, that is why we should recharge our motivational batteries daily, especially when we are adopting a new behavior. A fantastic video to get you started is Morning Motivation by Video Advice. Here are a few of my favorite channels: Be Inspired, Success Archive, Motivation2Study, MotivationGrind, Motivational Videos, Motivation Archives, and the MulliganBrothers. Subscribe to some channels and download a few videos on your phone so you can listen to them when you need a quick pep-talk.
I hope this year we will choose to make a real resolution. We will know if we have made a real resolution if we take immediate action. Take action while the information is fresh and your feelings are strong.
“Here is the time to act; when the idea is hot, and the emotion is strong. The problem with waiting until tomorrow is that when it finally arrives, it is called today.”— Jim Rohn
Change your habits, change your life!
Best wishes and Best Health!
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[i] Gary Keller, and Jay Papasan, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Bard Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2013)