So, what are your resolutions for 2021?
C’mon…you know everyone is going to ask. But the question no one is going to ask at the stroke of midnight…what IS a resolution exactly?
The generally accepted notion is one of fleeting whims we feel obligated to make for self-improvement, like losing 25 pounds or eating healthy this year or spending more time with the socially awkward relatives (we all have them!). And why do so many give up on them so quickly? Perhaps because the preponderance of resolutions made are about making changes in one’s own life and, let’s face it, that isn’t as easy as demanding the rest of the world change instead. More to the point, however, people quit trying because they confuse the concept of resolution with that of a goal. Resolutions are a long-term mindset in contrast to the short-term objective of hitting a target, a goal. Goals require an action plan, steps to accomplish, measurable results, a specific target at which to aim. Since they are generally short-term, your motivation is likely to stay amped, too. Where a goal has a finite ending, resolutions are the framework in which goal setting takes place and reflect permanently desired changes. The expectations for each are different. You may spend a lifetime working towards your resolutions, one goal at a time. The discouragement of having broken a New Year’s declaration on the third of January should not warrant throwing that resolution out the window! Instead, re-examine the goals that will get you to the desired end and stay resolved. Goals provide the milestones of your journey; resolutions are the destination. So, what’s the takeaway?
Resolutions require more thought than an utterance following a glass of champagne.
Lifestyle changes are permanent and require that you be resolved.
Goals must be made with an accountability system. Once achieved, the next goal must be established towards a forward benchmark. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Resolutions can be boring on the face of it, so be sure to make the goals to get there challenging.
Self-improvement often forces us to face our short-comings, and this is the stuff of many a resolution. Avoiding something negative is not as powerful as doing something positive, so write your resolutions in the most positive language possible. Let’s try one!
MY 2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: This year, I want to command the English language at a native-speaker level. Because those who fail to plan, plan to fail…chances are excellent you won’t achieve your resolution without creating the steps of this journey. Those steps might include:
- I will enroll in English language classes for 4 hours per week.
- I will listen to a TED Talk every Saturday morning with my first cup of coffee.
- I will conjugate one verb in all twelve cases before retiring every Tuesday night.
- I will initiate a conversation with one clerk at the grocery store every time I go shopping.
- I will write three sentences about my morning every day at lunchtime.
- I will review my progress at the end of three months (specific date) and adjust the plan as needed.
3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!