FOUR rules for a resolution that succeeds

Self-Care Goal Setting

Resolutions that you can stick to for the new year.

New Year’s resolutions date back to the ancient Babylonians with similar practices in Ancient Rome; over 4,000 years ago.  The ancient Babylonians would crown their new royalty on the new year, as a show of new beginnings.  They would make a promise to their gods of something that they will change or do in the new year, these resolutions would be rewarded by the gods with a favor bestowed upon them if they kept their promise.  Romans also made sacrifices to their gods and made promises for the new year.  Its hard to say if people in ancient times kept their new years resolutions. . . it seems that they put a lot of weight on those promises that they made, maybe that helped. (history.com)

In current times, people tend to not stick with their New Year’s resolutions.  A psychotherapist, Jonathan Alpert stated, in an article for the business insider, three main reasons that New Year’s resolutions fail:

1. They are not specific enough.  Lacking a measurable goal or way to mark progress.

2. They are not stated in a positive way.  Using negative language regarding a behavior that one wants to eliminate puts focus on that behavior and effects the outcome.

3. The resolution is not about the individual.  If it is broad and not an actual goal that the person does not desire to achieve.

This year let’s try something new together.  Let’s set New Year’s Resolutions that will work for us.  First, instead of setting a New Year’s resolution for the whole year of 2020, let’s set ourselves monthly resolutions.  One month sounds a lot easier to stick to than a whole year.

At the end of each month, we have 3 choices:

1. If it is working at the end of the month then we can continue 

2. If it is not working, then we can adjust our goals/resolutions for the next month

3. If we are ROCKING IT and are ready for a new challenge, then of course our goals and resolutions can evolve throughout the year and grow with us.

When we are setting the resolution itself, there are a few things to keep in mind that can set you up for success instead of failure:

1. Know what GOAL you want to accomplish.  Be specific about your individual situation and what about it you want to change or do better.

2. Set daily, weekly, and monthly promises to yourself, of things that you can do to achieve your goal.  Again, be specific, measurable, and reasonable.  

3. Do not take on too much, since we are going to re-evaluate at the end of each month, there is no need to dive headfirst into unrealistic goals.

4. Use positive language in your resolution.  If there is a behavior that you want to eliminate, instead of setting the resolution to “stop” or “quit”; set the resolution as positive activity or behavior that you want to replace the negative with.


Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions of 2019 (from INC.com, according to a survey of 2,000 people)

1. Diet or eat healthier (71%)

2. Exercise more (65%)

3. Lose weight (54%)

4. Save more and spend less (32%)

5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)

6. Quit smoking (21%)

7. Read more (17%)

8. Find another job (16%)

9. Drink less alcohol (15%)

10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

My experience with the New Year’s Resolution that changed my life.

I made a New Years resolution 8 years ago that changed my life for the better.  For the first time in my life, I set a resolution that I was able to stick to through out the whole year and even the following year.  After those two years of working toward this resolution, I no longer think about it. . . my whole life is different now and I want to share this with others.  I have made it my life’s work to share my story and inspire others to make positive changes for themselves.  I work individually and in group settings to help people set and achieve self-care goals and this year I will have a book released with more about my story.

I went from being a glass half empty, pessimistic person, who rarely enjoyed life and very little things would bother me, to having a positive, glass half full outlook on life.  I had previously been living a life of chronic stress that had severe effects on my health; unable to relax without pain, migraines, vertigo, anxiety, depression, heart dysfunction, and sick all the time.  The first step in my progression to living a lift without those physical ailments and with a clearer and more positive mindset, was a New Year’s Resolution.

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