Every January 1st I make a list of New Year’s promises that will better my life, and every year I break them. I don't mind being honest about this because very likely you have done the same thing. It normally starts like this: The year begins with me putting on my slightly used $150 specially designed running shoes, my “Just Do It!” Nike sweat bands and heading off to the gym. The regulars there have a saying among themselves, "Grin and Bear It." What they mean by this is that they know the first couple of months the gym will be packed with all us "committed" newbies sweating and puffing away on the treadmills. Things look pretty good for a few months then one by one the newbies stop coming and the regulars once again have the gym to themselves.
I put my running shoes, sweat bands, and my pride in the back of my closet for next year. What are we doing wrong?! Well I’ve had a year to think about this and have come up with some suggestions worth exploring.
WHY RESOLUTIONS DON’T WORK
We focus too much on the NEED and not enough on the WHY. I need to loose weight; I need to stop smoking; I need to spend more time with the family are all fine but the real question we need to ask ourselves is WHY are these things important and focus on the reasons.
WHAT TO DO
Focus on how you feel when you see that extra flab around your waist or how you feel when you are not with your children. Use these feelings to get you through.
When you go to light that next cigarette don’t think, “I need to stop smoking,” instead think about your family and how they will be affected if you are not there for them.
FOCUS ON A WORD
Sometimes a mantra is needed. If you are a workaholic and feel you need to be enjoying life more maybe “FUN” might be that magic word. A few days ago I saw the Jim Carrey movie, The Yes Man. I’m not a big Carrey fan and the movie was so-so, but I liked the concept. Not to give too much away but Carrey’s character is a guy who avoids life. Then one day he starts saying yes to everything and his life is dramatically changed. Now I’m not suggesting you go that far but maybe a key word could be used to trigger an alternative response to a negative action.
Examples of using a key word might be HEALTH if you want to put down that cigarette or that cheeseburger - Mmmm cheeseburger – sorry I lost it for a moment.
How about FAMILY if you’re looking to spend more time with the spouse and kids.
READ – Completing that novel
BOOBTUBE – Watch less television
DESTINATION – Travel more
You get the idea. Once you’ve picked your mantra write it down, have a bracelet made with your word engraved on it, frame your word, say your word every morning when you get up and every night when you go to bed and remember focus on the WHY.
Good luck and Happy New Year.