“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” G.K. Chesteron
Now that 2015 is kicked-off and running, there is a vibe in the air that millions of you are ready to shake off the cobwebs of ALL the years from say… oh, I don’t know, maybe 2007-2014… to really make things happen and get started on your own Personal Revolution! Are you feelin’ it too?! Yeah, it’s in the “January-aire”, ain’t it?
As someone who has helped many people design and implement their resolutions for the better part of the last 25 years, there are things that work and things that…well, get bagged and gift-wrapped for next year.
Now, before you get too excited about 2015, put it in park and cool your jets for a minute… Hard to do isn’t it? I know, I’m such the party-pooper, rain on your parade kind of guy.
I know you all are just chompin’ at the bit to go 500 mph out of the gate in 2015. But you know what happens. Fast-forward a bit into 2015… and guess what? Then “Life” begins to settle in, you start slowing down to a crawl, and then you stop. You’re ready and yet not-so-ready to do it all over again 350 days later…ahem, in 2016. Sheesh, not so much, Thank You!
It’s Kind of like that feelin’ when you bought that Ab Blaster or Flab Master for $19.95 off of the Mr. Infomercial, British-accent guy at 2 am while eating the whole bag of chips in one hand and with the other sticky hand on the remote or I-phone in the other.Yes, that oh-so “prize” and joy you felt by ordering it off your I-phone app– lickity split, it’s done! But wait, there’s more! You got TWO Master Blasters for the price of one! Where do I find room for my bathroom towels now?!
With your high excitement building up, you open the package from FedEx a week after New Year’s like it was Christmas all over again with gleaming eyes and determination!
Lo and behold 2 weeks later you stuffed it under your bed never to be seen or heard from again. Like a slow and painful death, as sad a feeling as the loss of your last relationship to become yet another dusty Resolution Disaster.
First, the God-awful, not-so-sexy truth is, you need to create a plan and be fully aware of what the statistics and probabilities are that have perpetually made the proverbial cards to become stacked against you all these years that’s prevented you from ever succeeding at the dreaded “resolution”.
Although it’s not sexy to create a doable plan and stick to it at the time of January 1, 2015 but, by the time January 1, 2016 rolls around, you will get your sexy back to put yourself on cruise control with my following guiding plans.
How many of YOU have had the same resolution for past 10 years? So how’s that been workin’ for ya?
Put another way, can you think of a time in your entire life when you put 2 weeks of hard work in and the other 50 weeks of the year everything just coasted, and was smooth sailing until next year…yeah, probably not so much.
So what do you think of when you hear the word Resolution anyway? Versus Revolution?
A truly transforming language isn’t it, a Revolution, that is. Resolution has become such a negative, downer word almost synonymous with broken promise and that’s very uplifting is it? Yeah, the word Resolution kind of gives many people a feeling like that pit in the stomach feel doesn’t it. Well, not anymore as you are “starting afresh” starting now in accordance with Chesterton, to get you on and keeping you on the path to Your New Year’s Revolution! Words are powerful, and words are like weapons that can slay anything and make any resolution bow down before you!
Here’s the really Great News! There really are tried and true methods to a successful Personal Revolution, and these “laws” of probabilities can be stacked in your favor to combat the many years of defeat.
Based on what researchers have found are the top resolutions people make:
Top Four Resolutions In Order:
- Increase exercise, lose weight, slim down, tone up
- Be more conscientious about work or school
- Develop better eating habits
- Stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs (including caffeine)
Doesn’t probably surprise anyone here!
Other Popular Resolutions We Make That Are Further Down The List:
Get a job
Get expenses under control
Pay down debt
Find a mate
Spend more time with family
More ReVolution Research Stats To Keep In Mind:
- 63% of people say they are keeping their resolutions after two months.
- 67% of people make three or more resolutions.
- 65% who say they will do a resolution—35% of those never even make it out of the gate.
- People make more resolutions to start a new habit than to break an old one.
- Of those who successfully achieved their top resolution, only 40% of them did so on the first attempt.
You have to know what your dealing with so cards get stacked in your favor!
Oh– So By The Way… What’s The Plan? YOUR Plan!
Most Big Changes Take, At Minimum, 6 Attempts Before Success.
This is based on decades-old research which was done specifically with smokers. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. People have been programmed to accept that a “resolution” is something you can break anytime it gets a little tough.
Instead, think of it as making a decision/commitment–a Revolution–rather than a resolution for the rest of the year. Make the same decision (commitment) to making a positive change in your life by starting a replacement positive habit first instead of attacking or removing your bad habits first. The “bad” habit will then begin to dissolve as you resolve. Research has suggested it is “easier” or more productive and revolutionary to pick up a new habit through “replacement therapy” than to ditch an old habit. Kind of like changing the S into a V…
Did You Stick To It And Keep Trying?
Based on some research, it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit— and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Patience and persistence are key. A good litmus test is the research on addiction confirming if you can’t stop from doing something for 7 days, you’re still hooked to it, either positive or negatively. So it’s a good chance after 6 months you’ve got some staying power even if you fell off the wagon for a bit.
Think Year Round—Not Just On Day One (Jan 1)
Nothing big happens in one day. Put another way: nothing happens in a vacuum. Res(v)olutions are set in 1 day, but accomplished with 100’s of tiny steps (days) throughout the year—res(v)olution is just the starting point. You don’t gain weight in one day even though it may look or feel like it.
Like climbing a mountain—look how far you’ve come when you are half-way up Kilimanjaro, rather than how far you have to go. Reward how far you’ve gone, not how far you have to go. Your now just that much closer than when you first started. The journey of 1000 miles…You don’t have to wait until January of any year to do something either. There’s no reason you can’t make a “New Year Commitment” any time of year for any reason at all. 350 days is a long time to wait to decide to make a change!
Did You Tell Someone Else About It And Write It Down?
It’s easier to let yourself down than someone else down! How many of you would be okay with breaking a promise to someone else? Then why are you ok with breaking promises to yourself? Make an agreement with yourself, and never break one again!
Imagine if someone continued to break promises with you. How long would they be in your life and how’s that whole trust thing workin’? So how do you feel about yourself when you do it? You say to yourself: “Shhh! Nobody will know. They won’t find out!” Yeah, right! YOU will know! Though others may not always say it except maybe only your “Bestie”, they do know. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out you break your own promises when you are 200 pounds overweight, $50,000 in debt, divorced 6 times(BTW: that’s called dating with a higher dinner bill), or you can’t hold a job for longer than you held your 2014 resolution.
Don’t keep it a secret! The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your commitment and then you motivate each other. Partners in crime to start a Revolution! Let accountability be your best friend and not allow it to feel like your worst nightmare keeping you awake at night.
Who Is Your Support?
I am regularly helping my clients weed out their non-supporters in their life. Difficult, but necessary sometimes even when it is family, spouses, or friends.
Your true supporters are there for you in both the honest good and honest not-so-good times. If that isn’t happening, you have to put your boundaries and limits up and stick with them.
So who are the people around you who will help you succeed or help you fail in your Revolution? Are they truly encourages or discouragers?
Be careful not to surround yourself with those who are saboteurs—intentional or not. Are they part of the crab in a bucket clan? Mom and Dad new a little something when they told you as a teenager, “I don’t want you hanging around so- and- so; they’re trouble”.
Research has long supported you are who you eat with and you are who you hang around with. Surround yourself with Supporters and not the Debbie or Danny downers, Andy anchors, or Negative Nancy’s (apologies if this is your name).
Truly supportive people will slap your hand when you reach for that cheesecake and not bake you one!
Be Honest With Yourself.
To thine ownself be true! So know thyself! Know the difference between enjoying yourself and self-medicating. Know your limitations and back off when necessary. And when you KNOW you are being a slacker–kick it in gear! You reap what you sow by being honest with yourself and acting in accordance with thine self.
Did You Write A Pro And Con List?
Write 3 things down you did well toward your committed Revolution and 3 things down you need to improve upon. It rewards you for your efforts and reinforces the behavior change.
Reminders Written Everywhere.
Paper remembers, people forget; therefore write it down. This helps to keep you accountable not to others, but to yourself. Writing has proven scientific brain and habit-forming benefits that makes things stick.
You can avoid and dismiss anything in your head all day long, but if it is written down and plastered everywhere including on your forehead, you have to make the physical and conscious decision to throw it away. Which is like throwing YOU away. If you’re close to throwing in the towel–that’s when you call in reinforcements and supporters. Which leads us into our next Revolution.
Don’t Do Anything Challenging On Your Own.
Team up with others with the same goal and you’re less likely to fail. Whodda thunk science and common sense coming together.
There is strength in numbers. Find someone who has strengths where you are weak in, and be the strength for others in their weak areas towards a common agenda or goal. It is a complimentary buddy system. If you all like chocolate cake, who’s going to be there to “police” all of you in your time of weakness.
Find A Role Model.
If you want to bike more, farther, faster, etc., then saddle up with someone in the know or who you aspire to be. Play follow the leader and learn from their lessons so as not to reinvent the wheel alone.
Did You Invest In Your Res(v)olution?
You’ve got to get some skin in the game. it’s gotta hurt a little bit—you gotta feel it! If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you! Nothing rewarding comes easy or for free. So what you put into it, is what you’ll get back. Ain’t nothin’ free in this world and more often than not you have to pay to play so, Ante Up!
Don’t Forget To Reward Yourself While Tracking Your Progress?
Along the way treat yourself for all your hard work that isn’t contradictory to your commitment. If trying to lose weight is your commitment(resolution)—don’t reward yourself with donuts!
So there you have it. See which one or one’s resonate with you own Personal Revolution in 2015.
By no means…do not try to take on all of these at once! Research and common sense for that matter has found that all you need to do is pick 1 or 2 of these and forge ahead. Attempting to do all of these at the same time will be another recipe for a Master Disaster.
Don’t allow yourself to be looking back at 2015 and saying to yourself ever again…
“I can’t believe it’s been a year since I didn’t become a better person.”
I Can’t wait to find out how your Revolution turns out for you in the next 364 days!
Now that’s something to Celebrate!