Even though 2018 is still fresh, we hope our New Year’s resolutions for the year are becoming more solid. Perhaps we are starting to see the success of lost weight or the positive feelings from our new diet? Maybe it is the extra money in your accounts from the new family budget.
Don’t give up on your New Year’s resolutions and goals!
US News reports that 80% of all New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the second week of February. The very thought of giving up a little more than 1/12 of the way to the destination goes completely against the very root of making a resolution. That is the equivalent of quitting a marathon when one is only 2.5 miles into the race! The heart of resolution is resolve and that is a word of positive fierceness. A powder keg of “can do.”
However, there is risk in tying yourself to a yearlong commitment. At some point, the difficulty of the task will weigh itself against the inconveniences of your life and you will be tested. If the required time and effort of your task did not push against you, you would have already added this positive undertaking to your routine. What happens if you take on this “new you” and life does not get better or maybe you quit half way through, what then? Why risk the bitterness of defeat if life works right now?
Resolving to “unplug” from screens and social media
Several years ago, I resolved to have a day of the week that we regularly “unplugged” from all the shiny digital screens that were taking our family’s attention. It took some convening on my part, but my wife agreed to have what we called “no screen Sundays.” From sun up to sun down, we would not check emails, participate in social media, play with our mobile phones, watch shows or movies, or play video games. Anything else was fair game.
We could listen to music, nap, read a book, play outside, or just sit in silence and pout — which was the story the first week. After several weeks of this new trend, we noticed that our Sundays were more relaxing. The task was difficult, and we had moments of weakness, turning back to our phones or the TV out of boredom… or just pure habit.
By all accounts it was a great success in our home, despite the challenges. While this past year we haven’t been following it as strictly, the positive effects still echo throughout our home – pouring into other evenings of the week — and has made a great difference in our lives.
The reward of your resolution is an improved and better you, in part or in full — even if you only succeed at 1/3 of them, an improvement has been made. This is part of the sweetness in life, and failure will always happen along the way… but there’s no need to let that hold you back. Through the challenges you’ll learn about your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as your community of support and the people who inspire you.
Here’s what I learned in my own family’s journey to succeed, and I hope it helps you tackle your own New Year’s journey.
Here’s how to stick to your resolutions for 2018
- Change the “Why” — Do not have a resolution out of pure obligation. Change starts with your heart and a desire to better yourself in that area. Are you at a place that you are desperate for change in that area?
- Realistic and Attainable Goals — Is your goal attainable with the time and resources available? Your goal should not hinge on a Hail Mary pass for the win.
- Create Accountability — Having a coach and a cheerleader by your side the whole way will help the probability of success, as accountability is key. You should allow for honesty and transparency to flow both ways.
- Write Down Your Resolutions – How do you know what you are aiming for, if you cannot see it? Writing down your goals and resolutions for 2018, which you can display in an area that you will see them every day, will help you focus in on your goal. It’s amazing how the mind works!