Monday, December 28, 2009

Eek! New Years Resolutions are Coming

       It's the silly time of year when we fall all over ourselves to make "New Years Resolutions". What's wrong with a good old resolution you say? Well, nothing's wrong with a resolution. It just seems that with all the hype at the New Year something is lost in the resolution and that's a shame.
       Call me a "sad sack" or whatever, but in order for resolutions to be of any value they have to be made with a few guidelines. Resolutions need to be reasonable and realistic. Can one possibly achieve the resolution? If I say I'm going to save $10 000.00 this year and I only make $20 000.00 that isn't possible and it isn't going to happen no matter how many guidelines we have. The end of a resolution has to be measureable. I'm going to lose 5 pounds in 6 months. That has two measureable aspects. A resolution chart should be kept so that we can check and update our resolutions evry 30 days or whatever time frame makes sense for the individual.

      Resolutions are valuable for one to attempt to improve various aspects of his/her  life. I believe that we should always be looking for personal improvement. This can bring about long term satisfaction, success and happiness. Life is a journey and it lasts all year so make resolutions throughout the year.

     So resolutions only made at one special time of year and in a party atmosphere are not my style. I'd prefer to see something a little less flashy and a little more obtainable.

     Am I making New Years resolutions? Not on a bet! Not that I don't need to make some resolutions. There's lots to improve on old Red.


  1. Completely agree here on the hype over New Years resolutions...I think the important distinction is between resolutions, and goals. One may resolve to do something, but without specific goals, and the plan to achieve them, you are basically doomed to fail. A dream remains a dream if you don't make plans to act upon it.
    Prevailing wisdom on successful goal setting is to use the SMART model. Here's the run-down:

    S = Specific. Instead of saying "I'll get in shape this year", be specific and say "I'll work out for 30 minutes 5 times a week".
    M = Measurable. How do you know you're making progress toward your goal? Think of when, how much, how often etc... "I will lose 10lbs in 3 weeks" is measurable. "I'm going to lose weight"...not so much (see above).
    A = Achievable. As mentioned in the original blog, can you save $10k when you only earn $20k/year? This is not to say you should listen to nay-sayers and negativity, but you'll be sorely disappointed if you set up a goal that you simply can't reach. Maybe the achievable goal is to save 10% of your income this year instead.
    R = Realistic. Much like the previous point. I think we're in big trouble these days with all the patting on the head and assurances that anyone can do anything they want to. Really? I don't think so. I'll never be a professional athlete, rock star, or astronaut, even if I really, really wanted to. If you want to become Prime Minister, maybe the realistic goal is to start by running for office at the municipal level...
    T = Timely. "Someday" has no deadline, and therefore nothing to aim for. How long will it reasonably take to reach the goal? Set a deadline and then you have something to aim for. "Someday I'm going to travel to Paris" quickly becomes never, because you haven't put a concrete boundary on the idea.

    For what it's worth, I think resolution hype is unfortunate because most of us are set up from the start to fail. Solid planning and sticking to those plans will serve us all much better. A suggested reading on the subject of success and failure is "Failing Forward" by John C. Maxwell.

    Also, it's highly recommended to make your goals public; get support and healthy peer pressure by letting friends or loved ones know what you're attempting. No sense trying to lose weight if your spouse doesn't know about it and keeps tempting you with takeout and treats!

    Finally, I will never forget the mantra my old high school principal used to repeat (a lot, considering I remember it so well 20 years later!) on the PA system: "Nobody ever failed in life because they aimed too high and missed, but rather because they aimed too low and hit." (thanks Len Luders)

    Good luck to all on their goals this year...

  2. Always enjoy your thoughtful comments. You could spend time commenting on many blogs. I wish you could make these comments before I write my post. Thanks again.Red