By BIS Contributor Debbie Lane
Ándale! Ándale! Arriba! Arriba! It’s January and it’s time to strategize how to achieve those New Year’s Resolutions!
(Pause for contemplation)
Are Resolutions Achievable?
Resolutions are the easy part, because, if you’re like me, you’ve had the same resolutions every year for many years. They are the same ones you see in television ads, magazine articles, and the newspaper. You know, lose weight, exercise, eat healthy foods, reduce stress, make more money, etc. The strategy on how to achieve them, however, varies from year-to-year, based on whatever the latest fad is. But, because I didn’t seem to permanently achieve the results I want, I always had the same resolutions every year. And since they were the same, I quickly become bored with them and was quickly discouraged by lack of progress. So, by the time February rolled around, I’d already relegated my resolutions to the back burner.
Does that sound familiar?
We’re Not Alone…
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman involving 3,000 people concluded that 88% of those who set out to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions fail. The study states that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. So, you’re in good company, if you never seem to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions.
My friend and founder of Be Iconic Style, Bobbi Schwartz, has reminded me on several occasions that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Why should we settle for a “déjà vu” January? After all, we are all smart people!
Let’s Reframe How We Look at the New Year.
Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, let’s simply make the new year a time for “New Beginnings.” January is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. It’s sort of like a new school year, only this is for life. Last year is over and done with and there is nothing we can do to change any of it. Refuse to look back—and don’t jump ahead, either. Let’s live in the present moment, and choose to be positive.
Do I still want to achieve the resolutions and goals that have been on my list every January for the past 20-30 years? Absolutely! But they are no longer going to be a January “resolution.” Those former goals are etched into my brain—as I’m sure yours are as well.
I’d Like to Share a Story with You.
For as many years as I can remember, my top New Year’s Resolutions have been to lose weight, exercise, and eat healthier. I always start in January with great intention, resolve, and a brand new strategy. By February, when I haven’t seen the progress I expected with the amount of effort I’ve exerted, I give up and am discouraged. And quite frankly, I’m very hard on myself.
A few years ago, I decided not to make any New Year’s Resolutions. The same goals I’d had on my list forever were still etched in my mind. Without resolutions hanging over me, I joined a fitness center where a team of fitness professionals put me on a program to lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy food. Before I knew it the year was half over and I stepped back to marvel at the tremendous progress I had made. I was finally tackling the very goals I’d been hoping to achieve for years. A simple change of mindset “tricked” me into staying focused on the things that I had wanted to achieve. And I’m happily continuing to work on those goals long-term.
Here’s to “New Beginnings”!
So let’s take the pressure off of ourselves this year and simply focus on the opportunity that a “new beginning ” in a new year offers us. Let’s try to take a break from our hectic lives, be good to ourselves and enjoy January for what it is—a fresh start. When the time is right, you too will accomplish the goals that you have your heart set on.