Yeah, I have a resolution, and a magic word for the year, but I'm not telling until later this week. It might just jinx me. Instead, let's examine resolutions generally.
The top 3 resolutions for 2012:
1. Lose weight
2. Getting organized
3. Spend less, save more (hey, that was MY resolution last year)
Sound familiar? You probably also know that less than 8% of people keep their resolutions. Here's a great blog post from Forbes with a break down of how that happens. While the post was a little discouraging with the statistics, I really loved this illustration from a 1915 prayer card:
Want to be successful in keeping your resolutions? Good news - it can be done! First, stop telling yourself it's a resolution, especially a New Year's Resolution. Calling it that is just an excuse for blowing it within the first month. Instead, look at it like any other goal, and be SMART!
S Specific (or significant)
A Attainable (or Action-Based)
R Realistic (Relevant)
If you want to "be a healthier person" this year, what does that mean? How will you determine what "healthier" is? While making your whole family lose weight is a great resolution, is it something YOU can do? If you just had knee surgery and want to run a marathon, is that really something you can accomplish in a year? How will you track improvements of your "fitness" during the year? Use the SMART metric to see if your goal (resolution) is a good one.
While your goal is a yearlong effort, you need to have smaller bites to get that done. Set milestones - maybe every two weeks, maybe every month. Keep your goal in mind - write it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Better yet, put it on your Facebook page and update your progress regularly. (Using a blog might not be as effective - it didn't really help me last year.)
Finally, if the whole idea of a New Year's Resolution is just too daunting, just don't do it! While people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to make a change, that's only because they set a goal, not because they set the goal on January 1. Wait a week or a month and then set a GOAL.
OK, maybe I inspired you a little (or myself a lot). I'll reveal my goal (resolution) later this week, and maybe I'll be SMART about it.
Happy New Year!