Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Simple New Year's Resolution

There is still time to make a New Year's resolution!

A friend had asked me, "Did you make any New Year's resolutions?". Joking, I said, "Yes, my New Year's resolutions are not to make a six figure income and to not smoke." Pausing, I continued to say, "I have a hard time keeping resolutions. I picked these two, because I know for sure I will be successful at them!"

I already am a non-smoker, I never smoked, and I never have any intentions of smoking... resolution success!

I am far from making a six figure income and unless I receive an ENORMOUS increase in pay... this too will be a resolution success!

Tongue in cheek humor of course. My friend knowing me well, laughed.

Seriously though. Have you tried the monumental vows? Lose 30lbs. Eat really healthy. Read through the Bible in a year. Stop smoking. Be a better husband. Be a better mom. Work harder. Be smarter. Read 10 self-help books and be a better person... Uggh!

This list is discouraging, no wonder we are miserable. We are setting ourselves up for failure before we even begin our journey.

Please note, these are great commitments and I commend any of you who have the "stick-to-itiveness" and succeed in your promises to yourself. The other 95% of us fail after the first quarter of the year and go right back to our old habits.

I have learned years ago to set short term goals at the beginning of the year and as you continue to accomplish those goals, set longer ones.

I don't know about you, but when I fail at my goals I feel worse than when I started.

Here are some examples of how to be successful in your goals for the new year:
* Instead of saying, I will be a better dad or mom this year. (Undefining what that means).
Say, "I will find one activity that my kid and I can do together." As the year progresses, add another activity, then another. Our kids want to be noticed and feel prized. Give them that one-on-one time they desperately desire!

* Instead of trying to read through the bible in a year.
Switch your way of thinking and say, "I will read the bible every day for 30 days. As you build your new habit and discipline, add another 30 days... and so forth." When you successfully hit each milestone, you will feel good about conquering the next one.

* Instead of trying to stop smoking cold turkey.
This is just an idea. Since I am not a smoker, but it's the advice of a previous smoker.
If you smoke a pack a day- only allow yourself half a pack. Set a goal, "In one week I will only smoke half a pack. In another week, I will only smoke 5 cigarettes a day. On week three, I will only smoke 3 cigarettes a day." Until you are down to 1 cigarette as a reward, then to none at all.

* Instead of trying to exercise 5 days a week and starve your body in order to look thin.
Switch your way of thinking and say, "I will work out 2 days a week for 30 days. My goal is to lose 5lbs." You will feel very good when you achieve this very obtainable goal, that you will then push for another 30 days and increase your workouts and try to lose 8 more pounds the following month.

You see, it took years for us to gain the bad habits in our lives. We lie to ourselves into thinking we can change the course in a matter of days or weeks. It takes time. The simple secret is setting little milestones of success to keep your spirits high and your determination strong.

If we set ourselves up for failure, then we will never accomplish the goals set in front of us.

Trust me when I tell you that I need to follow these example more. This simple plan only works when you actually do them =P

The first thing to do each day is to ask God for strength and perserverance. Ask Him to give you the power to break the chains of your bad habits and addictions. Without God, we will fail- with God all things are possible!


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