January 1, 2008

New Years Resolutions

When the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year, it always makes me have butterflies in my stomach. New Year's is the only holiday that celebrates the passage of time. Perhaps that's why, as the final seconds of this year tick away, we become introspective. Inevitably, that introspection turns to thoughts of self-improvement and the annual ritual of making New Year's Resolutions. Yes, I know most people don’t follow thru with the resolutions they make but here are a few pointers that might help you out this year.

Pre-contemplation: The desire to change is vague. This is a good time to seek information and ask some important questions such as, "What risks am I running by going along just as I have been?"
Contemplation: Weigh the benefits of change. This is a time to get specific, to monitor behavior. For example, keep a record of how much you eat, drink, spend, etc.
Preparation: Begin making small changes. For example, you might give up some TV time and redirect your energy. Now's the time to tell family and friends that the leopard is about to change his spots. Go ahead and make that commitment.
The Action: Banish and sacrifice vices while embracing and committing to new virtues. At this point, give yourself all the help and support you can by creating a sense of accountability to others. Encourage family and friends to prod, provoke and push you.
Maintenance: This is the challenging part. You're finished with your old habit and into your new life. It is a lot easier to maintain your resolution than it is to regain it. Do your self a monumental favor and stay focused on WHY you set this resolution in the first place!

Those who actually pull it off can prove to others and to themselves that they believe in the ability to change. Try not to indulge in self-blame or excuse making. Avoid wishful thinking and concentrate on results. Last but not least, understand your motivators and the reasons why the resolution is important to you. Did I also mention that I never make resolutions myself? I only hope for a better year than the previous one. It works for me and NEVER makes me feel guilty. To all of you who are determined to make a change though, good luck!!

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3 comments:

Don said...

Happy New Year to you, too! I hope it's a great 2008.

crazy working mom said...

Happy New Year to you as well, my friend! :)

Here's to a great '08!

Sandy Carlson said...

Happy New Year to you, too!