Resolutions: How to Succeed

Let’s be blunt here for a moment and just say that it is a new year because somebody decided today would be the first day of the year. In China, New Year’s day is a different calendar day every year. Resolutions don’t need to wait until that magical moment the clock strikes midnight. In fact, those who succeed in creating life-long changes (or something longer than 2 weeks, at the very least), start right away, no matter what the calendar says.

Here’s how to create a successful resolution:

1) Get Some Resolve!

First of all, saying that you will lose weight, have more confidence, or write a book will not magically make any of those things happen. If anything, the more unfulfilled promises you make yourself, the more slack you are likely to provide to the rope called your resolve. You need to have real reasons for real results. Losing weight needs to be backed up by meaning. Even shallow meaning works. You want to look great in those pants? Go for it! You want to play outside with your kids? You want to perform better at your job? You want to live until you’re 80? Take your pick. The change itself and the process will be hard without your guts pushing you onward.

2) Get Support

I started a running club a few months ago. Sure, I want other’s to be healthy and run once a week (at least), but truthfully I was looking for a support group to complete the task with me. We run several miles on the weekend at a pace everyone can keep up at. The only rule is: don’t. stop. moving. I’ve never been an accomplished runner, but it is motivating to have somebody running with you and giving you a mental drop kick when they go running on their own time.

3) Find Incentives

Return to your motivation for starting a new resolution. That will be it’s own reward or you can always add an eternal reward. The other day I met a girl who wanted to quit smoking. I told her that, since she seemed so attached to her boyfriend, she should ask him to reward her for not smoking. This reward could take any shape or form but it would definitely help her quit if she really desired to.

4) Optimize Conditions

This point is key to any degree of success. If you want to be more productive, then delete, sell, or throw out toxic distractions. And by toxic I mean the ultimate time killers that make hours disappear from your life. If you want to be healthier, then rid yourself of sugar-laden snacks and ask your friends to not eat fast-food around you. If you want to increase your savings, then set aside essential spending money and place almost all the rest in savings (keep some amount for emergencies).

I’m not an expert, but this is solid advice that is easy to follow. The point is: don’t wait for New Year’s or Christmas, or your birthday. The right time to accomplish something is now, if you really want to do it.

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