So you’ve kept your New Year’s resolution for almost a whole week, have you? Congratulations!
You’ve made great first steps – toward failure! Sounds a little harsh, I know–don’t write me off just yet.
I’m not a ‘naysayer’. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. There’s just a little something wrong with your well-intentioned process. Let me show you what I mean.
I’ll begin with a definition and etymology. Yes, you’ve probably read this or similar before. That’s why I’m not going into much detail. What you need to know about ‘resolutions’ is this:
- Re – Means ‘again and again’ or ‘back/backward’
- Solution – The act of solving a problem or the state of being solved
(See where I’m going with this? We’re solving the same problems over and over again. Seems a little counterproductive, doesn’t it?)
AH-HA! You don’t know what you’re talking about, you say! Wrong. I know that’s not the true breakdown of resolution.
- The word is a derivative of ‘resolve’, breaking down (through several languages) to the 14th century Latin ‘resolvere’ meaning to loosen, undo or settle (as in pay a debt).
But, the dictionary says resolve is to come to an earnest decision or determine to do something! Well, then. You’ve resolved to fix… whatever. You’re done! Decision made. The problem is you haven’t actually done anything! Therefore, there is no state of being solved!
Ok, then, you say. You just told us that resolve means to undo! We’re ‘undoing’ last year’s problems! So we’re all square… right? …cricket… the doubt creeps in… as it should. Without realizing it, you just learned that resolve has shifted from ‘loosen/unbind’ to ‘earnest/determined’. What the hell? So we’re holding firm and changing?
Thoroughly confused? Likely. Try writing it.
So if a resolution is a walking contradiction, what can you do? Can you walk into a new year without one? Think of all those 5-minute resolution conversations you can’t engage in! Let it go.
Here’s where you begin to look for my ’12 Step Program for an Ultimate Existence’ right? Sorry, I don’t have one; but here’s a little secret—nobody else does either! That doesn’t mean give up hope and start looking for leftover Christmas fudge. By all means, give yourself something to shoot for, but do it smartly. Make small improvements just outside of your current reach. Place them neatly in or just beyond the cusp of your comfort zone. To hell with telling yourself to lose 30 pounds this year–drink two fewer sodas than you did last week! Don’t try to organize your life–organize your desk– then something else next week! These are surefire techniques that ensure you won’t be disappointed. With every footfall, you pass a milestone of success.
So do yourself a favor. Stop making resolutions and start taking small steps toward being the you that you want to be. Trust me, when the year is up, 1,001 small wins will be much more rewarding than one large one.