Say no to New Year’s res­o­lu­tions

80 per­cent of res­o­lu­tions fail be­cause we go back to old habits that keep us in our com­fort zone

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS -

New Year’s res­o­lu­tions are a waste of time. Af­ter cel­e­brat­ing the hol­i­days, you go back to busy nor­mal rou­tines. Res­o­lu­tions such as ex­er­cise more and lose weight go out-of-sight and out-of­mind when press­ing sched­ules get in the way.

Don’t feel too badly about drop­ping the res­o­lu­tions idea. Ac­cord­ing to US News, 80 per­cent of res­o­lu­tions fail by mid-Fe­bru­ary any­way. Life gets in the way, we get stressed, and we go back to old habits that keep us in our com­fort zone.

Get­ting back into the day-to-day rou­tine af­ter the hol­i­days brings us back to real­ity. Go­ing to the gym just gets in the way of what needs to be done. Few of us re­al­ize how daily ur­gen­cies af­fect our choices. Yes, the real emer­gen­cies do need at­ten­tion. You can get too busy to stick to any res­o­lu­tions. What­ever is in the re­frig­er­a­tor gets eaten. Ex­er­cise must wait un­til to­mor­row. There are just too many other things you “must” do. How­ever, lack of fo­cus, lack of plan­ning, or busy­ness are not emer­gen­cies. For most peo­ple, Jan­uary is a good time to fo­cus their en­er­gies, to stop be­ing busy, to get or­ga­nized, and to take con­trol. So, what to do in­stead of New Year’s res­o­lu­tions?

Fo­cus your at­ten­tion on what is im­por­tant in your life. Whether it is get­ting to the gym, or spend­ing more time with loved ones, set some goals. Think about your val­ues and pri­or­i­ties and make plans to achieve the life that rep­re­sents those pri­or­i­ties.

For ex­am­ple, if you want to ex­er­cise “more,” what ex­actly does that mean for you? How will you fit that ex­er­cise into your life? If you say “I will go to the gym” does that rep­re­sent some­thing that you can do 2 times a week or 3 times a week? Will you hate go­ing to the gym? What else would count as ex­er­cise? Would you pre­fer hik­ing with fam­ily or learn­ing how to dance with friends? The point is to clar­ify the goal and make sure it is some­thing you will achieve. It cer­tainly helps to en­joy the process along the way.

The ef­fect of writ­ten goals has been sup­ported by re­search. Make sure you write down the goal (ex­er­cise 3 times per week) and put your ac­tion steps on your cal­en­dar (go to the gym Tues­days and Thurs­days at 6 a.m. and dance Wed­nes­days at 7 p.m.). Set­ting small steps and sync­ing them with the cal­en­dar will help you stay on track. Set ap­point­ments with your­self. For ex­am­ple: on Jan. 8 “reg­is­ter for dance class,” goes on your cal­en­dar. Then Wed­nes­days, Jan. 16, 23, and 30 at 7 p.m. are marked as “at­tend dance class.” Per­haps you need to set a re­minder for an hour early to have time to change and drive to the class.

If you can stay on tar­get with health and fun goals, imag­ine what you can do when you bring this process to your ca­reer or busi­ness. If you need a re­source for keep­ing track of writ­ten goals, check out the FO­CUS Plan­ning Jour­nal. The jour­nal is de­signed to bring goal-set­ting to an­other level by keep­ing your busi­ness and per­sonal goals in one place. The FO­CUS Plan­ning Jour­nal teaches you to es­tab­lish the habit of set­ting goals in writ­ing and get­ting pri­or­i­ties on the cal­en­dar for bal­anc­ing work and life.

For­get New Year’s res­o­lu­tions and set goals in­stead to gain con­trol over your time to achieve what is most im­por­tant to you! Re­mem­ber, those who write their goals ac­com­plish sig­nif­i­cantly more than those who do not write their goals.

Dr. Carol-Anne Min­ski works with busi­ness lead­ers and com­pa­nies seek­ing ways to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease their or­ga­ni­za­tional per­for­mance. She helps lead­ers raise the bar and max­i­mize per­for­mance. Carol-Anne is au­thor of “Fo­cus! Get What You Want Out of Life” and the “Fo­cus! Plan­ning Jour­nal.” For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.fo­cuswith­drc. com/me­dia/.

Dr. CarolAnne Min­ski

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