The tradition of making a New Year’s Resolution encourages us to make positive life changes regarding the new calendar year. This tradition comes from our inherent desire to improve.
Recently, at a business meeting I attended, the group was asked if they had considered any business related New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. It was very interesting to hear the varied reactions people had to this traditional question.
One person immediately reacted defensively to the question, explaining that he doesn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. He explained that there was no need for change because his goal had been set years ago. A couple other people voiced their specific goals and plan to adapt to the evolving needs and demands of their industry.
But most people agreed with one woman’s comment that New Year’s Resolutions just seemed to set people up for failure. Her example, the infamous declaration, “I am going to lose weight this year!” to realize all too quickly, the gym membership goes unused, and the diet reverts back to old unhealthy habits. Truth be told, about 20% of people do go back to their past year’s practice after only a month!
Don’t base your New Year’s Resolution on what you think you should be doing; look at what you really want to be doing.
Whether you have had personal success with New Year’s Resolutions or not, I think self-reflection is always a good practice. If thinking about making a New Year’s Resolution encourages self-reflection—then great! Taking time out at least once a year to assess what has and hasn’t been working for you may prompt you to consider making a change.
Do you have any bad habits you’ve been meaning to change? Any good behaviors you’ve been meaning to model? Children will follow your lead, so a New Year’s Resolution you set for yourself will most likely also have a positive impact on a child.
In thinking about making a change for 2012, I encourage you to visualize a new and improved you. Maybe you’ve been thinking about ways to reinvent yourself? What does that look like for you? Be specific. Visualization is simply a technique of using our imagination to create what we want in our life. It is based on the concept that “If you can see it, you can be it”. Many athletes endorse this technique and use it to visualize positive outcomes related to their sport. They mentally create a detailed movie clip of themselves executing a dive for example, or finishing a goal, or hitting a ball out of the park….
Imagine what your life would be like if you made a desired change. Create a mental picture of the revised you in detail. Imagine that new, improved self—the bad habit conquered, the healthier version of yourself, or the happier version of you. At the start of your day, during your day, and at the end of your day, take a few minutes to simply close your eyes and focus your imagination on your desired, improved self.
What change can you imagine for yourself? After writing it down, make it public by sharing it in the comments below.
You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. –Dr. Seuss
A Year from now you may wish you had started today. –Karen Lamb