New Year’s resolutions are fascinating to me because of how revolving they are. Predictably, at the end of each passing year and beginning of each new year, people seem to be at their most aspirational. We love to declare our resolutions to the world. In some families such as mine growing up, it is customary to all gather in a room and each person goes around asking each member to stand and declare their resolutions for the new year.
When I think back to the many resolutions I’ve made in my lifetime, I can’t help but wonder just how many I actually managed to realize. Too often, we don’t meet our resolution, whether it’s to lose weight (a typical example), pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, kick an old habit, or find the love of our lives. The reason for this is resolutions have become trendy versus practical. It’s almost as if we are expected to say aloud we plan to accomplish something of great magnitude in the course of just one year. Unlike smart goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, resolutions are grandiose and ambiguous. Oftentimes, we don’t even write them down so by the time we are halfway through the year, we find ourselves just six months away from yet another resolution.
Having been a hamster in the New Years Resolution wheel myself, I think I’ve finally seen the light. I know now that one does not need a new resolution each year, in spite of the popular saying, “What a difference a year makes.” Truth is, a resolution requires resolve, and typically, significant change isn’t achieved overnight or in a year’s time. Rather, great achievements are often the result of a culmination of measured character building exercises, personal and professional development, positive attitude reinforcement, and incremental progress toward the desired goal. All of these things are more likely to be achieved over the course of a number of years versus just one, with consistency being the common denominator.
I believe that if each new year, we would simply reinforce our commitment to those longterm goals that are in alignment with our core values, then we would stand to gain more than one resolution could grant us. We would be more successful in putting our actions where our words are. With this growth mindset, we wouldn’t feel the subconscious pressure to reinvent the wheel at the turn of each new year. We wouldn’t need to, like countless others, declare the cliché, “New Year, New Me!”
If history serves us correctly, a more probable outcome for each of us by the time December 31st, 2018 rolls around 12 months from today is that we would, in fact, be the same people we are today. However, with renewed attitudes, constant learning, consistent growth, and by practicing smart goal setting and executing instead of stating lofty resolutions, we may find that we would’ve achieved a number of things we can be proud of.
P.S. Consider an evolution over a resolution.
Happy New Year!
Kenny, Chief Wordsmith