For as long as I’ve remembered new years, I’ve remembered making new years resolutions. This is the time of year that you make a bunch of decisions on what you are going to do differently and you vow to stick to them from that magical day January 1st.
Of course, January 1st ends up being no more magical than any other day of the year. Self Help books find their way onto the bestsellers list as people crave to ensure they avoid the mistakes of years past and make ‘this’ one, the one that matters.
You have no doubt come across plenty of articles online that tell you what you need to do in order to ‘keep’ new years resolutions. I have a slightly different message. My message is over the word ‘resolution’ itself.
If you take resolution as being made up of the words ‘re’ and ‘solution’ then what you’ll find it that if ‘re’ means to do something again and ‘solution’ means the answer to something… resolutions are applying the same answers again after you have failed. Now, in my head I figure that if you have to apply the same answers over and over again to some problem the problem isn’t permanently solved.
The very word resolutions I believe is a misnomer. Even if you take the word ‘resolve’ which you could argue doesn’t mean re-solve but instead refers to a feeling that carries you through into continuing to do what challenges you regardless of obstacles… the problem is when we label our actions resolutions. For resolving to do something is different to ‘making a resolution’. Making a resolution separates us even further from the action.
So, I’d like to suggest that we all resolve to create goals, strategies and pre-solutions. Now, first what do I mean by goals. Well actually I mean that you sit down and figure out who do you want to be this year? What do you want to achieve? What new habits do you want to be practicing? What new experiences do you want to be having?
Next, is strategies. This is simply about deciding what are the things you need to start doing on a regular basis in order to achieve those goals and become the person that you want to be. I do believe that applying such strategies can help you become who you really are because I believe we are destined to become what we are at our very best.
The problem is that things get in our way. Challenges come in the limitations of our own mind, of society, of other peoples mind or attitude. They come in the form of numerous limitations that hold us back… both in the world and in our mind. These are what prevent us from being all that we can be… from achieving our goals… and when we do resolve to do something… it is these challenges that crop up.
That’s where the third part comes in: presolutions. You see if you have a fair idea ahead of time as to what kind of problems and challenges crop up as we engage in new behaviours, then we can figure out ahead of time what we will do when they do crop up. So, if your goal is to become a non-smoker and your strategy involves a lifestyle shift with a number of steps then the challenges you know might get in your way involve cravings or social pressure. The key is to decide ahead of time that you can handle and deal with these challenges when they arise. When you decide on solutions you can implement before they arise then you are back in control. That way it doesn’t take that much effort at all.
So, make some new years goals, new years strategies and new years pre-solutions… for a change.