Old Year’s Resolutions

Tips to resolve the left over New Year’s Resolutions from years gone by. How will 2012 be different? What the past resolutions unresolved? Rather than adding more this year figure out why 2009 was like 2010 and 2011.

It’s October 18 and already I see Christmas decorations in stores and on the internet.   Christmas is  WAY early this year.   With all this holiday stuff bombarding me,  I’ve started to think about the New Year.   How will 2012 be more fun and satisfying?   From there it’s a short hop to  GUILT over all those past New Year’s resolutions that barely lasted through Bubble Bath Day (always January 8—didn’t you know?)

This year I’m going to do it differently,  I’m not going to add yet another resolution to the heap of un-kept resolutions;  this year I’m going to look back and figure out why 2009 was like 2010 and 2011.  I’ve created a little three column worksheet to help me straighten it all out.

Step 1:  The Ghost of New Years Past

Think back to last year and the two years before.   Find a few resolutions  (like 2 or 3)  from each year that you were really passionate about.   These goals were,  at the time,  so important that you resolved to allow nothing to stand in your way.   Perhaps you wanted to drink less alcohol,  take a few college classes,  volunteer more,  lose weight, etc.  These are a few of the most recurring resolutions people make.

3-Peats?  The list could be pretty long so let’s whittle it down to only one resolution per year.   If you’re like me,  you may find a few of your resolutions show up all 3 years.   If so,  pick a 3-peater.   If you have different resolutions every year,  choose one that was most compelling each year. Write them in column 1 by year.   For example,  “volunteer more”  3-peated;  list it separately for 2011,  2010,  and 2009.

Step 2: Halt in the Name of ______

Each year,  you started off great and then,  WHAM! A road block.   Describe the obstacles  (list at least 3)  that got in your way.   Be specific and let it all pour out.   Include why this obstacle had the power to stop you from getting what you wanted.

Step 3: Closer Than You Thought

As you look at these obstacles,  list all the ways in which you could overcome each of them now.    Here are  5  starter questions to get you going:

  1. What was missing that could make all the difference?   (Support, Knowledge, Confidence, etc.)
  2. What did I have going for me that I just didn’t use well enough? (A gym in your apartment building, Tuition reimbursement from your employer, PTA opportunities, etc.)
  3. What did I assume about the obstacle that wasn’t really true? (Too hard, Too complicated, Too long, Won’t work, etc.)
  4. What could I change about my daily schedule? (Less TV, Walk vs. Ride, Cook)
  5. What could I change about my living spaces that would make it easier? (De-clutter, Decorate to entertain at home, Fix car, etc.)

Okay!  (Rubbing my hands together like Mr. Miyagi)  We have something to work with this year!  Go back and pick a resolution that you would probably go for again this year.  If it’s a 3-peater, then that’s easy;  if you have 3 different resolutions,  just go for the one that makes you excited  and a bit nervous at the same time.

Don’t try it again!

No,  I’m not suggesting you make it a renewed resolution,  you probably thought that was my plan.   No,  you tried that already.  Let’s try coming at your success from another angle.  This time,  rather than pick the resolution,  pick the  obstacles that derailed you.   Resolve to eliminate the  obstacles one by one over the course of 2012.

Success is a by-product

People get weighed down by the enormity of change because change on this scale,  e.g.,  lose weight,  drink less,  volunteer more,  etc.   means you’ll have to break the habit of being yourself.   Right now,  you have habits and attitudes that define who you are.  To be something different,   you’ll first have to stop being who you are so that you can become who you want to be.

Pushing String

That’s just way too hard sometimes;  I mean you’ve gotten really good at being you.   Stop working so hard!  Going for success directly can be like pushing string;  it’s just a poor strategy any way you slice it. Come at success from the side and start doing things that clear a path;  grab the string by the end and pull it!   That’s much easier!

Your resolution,  like the entire length of string,  will eventually get where you want it to be with less effort and strain. Oh,  and be sure to ask yourself whether the resolutions you listed were really goals  you wanted vs.  things you  thought you should do.   If any of them hint at this—drop them like hot potatoes! PS:  I created a little presentation about this using Prezi.  Have a look and please tell me what you think of it.

Related Articles: Holiday Opportunity, The Anti Resolution, Today Matters

Related Tip of the Week:  Respect Elders,

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Author: Lorraine Esposito

Lorraine Esposito Lorraine@Peacemaker-Coach.com 914-410-7502 Lorraine Esposito is a certified professional life coach, mentor coach, owner of The Center for Coaching Mastery at Westchester Community College in New York, and nationally recognized author of The Peacemaker Parent, Solving Problems for Today, Teaching Independence for a Lifetime, Lorraine is the featured life coach for a popular New York radio station, WFAS 103.9 FM and is in collaboration with and featured blogger for the National Football League and USA Football adding a ‘coach approach’ to coaching youth sports. Lorraine’s client base includes CEO’s in the entertainment industry, White House and Capitol Hill public affairs staff, entrepreneurs, global TED speakers, award winning writers, new coaches just starting out, successful business women between 40 and 55 looking for more out of life, and parents needing a little help making good on their parenting promises. Lorraine’s career matches the diversity in her coaching practices. Starting out in the rural mid-west, Lorraine has owned four small businesses; the first, an automobile repair center, started at age 16. Her corporate experience is mainly in negotiating multimillion dollar contracts as the buyer of domestic in-flight food and beverages for Trans World Airlines and then as a procurement manager for the New York City Transit Authority. Lorraine’s strength has always been creatively finding solutions to even the most complicated goal. In addition, Lorraine’s 30 years as a professional fitness coach continues to add depth to all her endeavors. She has been featured in various print, broadcast, and on-line media and is a public speaker regarding personal leadership to community and school-based audiences. Lorraine lives in New York with her husband and two teenage sons.

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