Resolutions, We Make Them, We Break Them
- Marsha Jordan
I recently read that 97% of people who make New Year's resolutions abandon them within 30 days. With a failure rate like that, why should I even bother? Is there a secret to successfully keeping my resolutions? Maybe I should resolve to gain weight, exercise less, develop bad habits, procrastinate, and watch more TV in the new year. Maybe I could keep resolutions like those.
No, that's not the answer. We need to resolve to do things in the new year that will make us better people and will improve the world. Here are four simple tips to make keeping those resolutions easier:
1) Start with small steps - Don't resolve to lose 30 pounds. Resolve to skip dessert once a week and exercise once a week. After these small changes become habits, implement bigger changes and increase your exercise time. Small successes will inspire you to move forward. If your goals are too lofty, you're doomed to failure. Start small and work your way up to bigger and better things over time.
2) Be specific - Don't set general goals. If you resolve to be a better spouse this year, you don't have a plan; so chances are it won't happen. Think of a specific thing your spouse would like you to do for him or her (like giving a backrub at the end of the day, picking up your underwear, or taking out the garbage without being asked). Resolve to make the effort to do that one thing on a regular basis. Small changes can make a big difference in your relationship. Little things DO mean a lot.
3) Have some accountability. We all need someone who will check up on us. Knowing that someone will ask how I'm doing will motivate me to work toward the goal. Share with a friend what you've determined to do and ask them to check back with you each week. There's a greater chance that you'll put forth some effort when you're expecting to give a report on your progress.
4) Choose to do something that has a payoff. If you resolve to eat more liver this year or to walk 5 miles and do 300 sit ups each day, what pleasure will you derive from that? Set goals that will provide a sense of satisfaction upon completion. Determine to do something that you'll enjoy so much that you'll want to continue doing it.
Here is a resolution you can easily keep this year. Help a sick child in 2004. It's a small step that takes only a few moments and can cost you nothing. The payoff is knowing that you've brought a little more joy into the life of a suffering little one. Visit the HUGS and HOPE web site (www.hugsandhope.com), read about the kids featured there. Choose a child and send him or her a cheery email or post card. That's all there is to it. Be in the 3% who will achieve success at keeping resolutions this year. This is a goal you can accomplish: Make a difference this year -- one smile at a time.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marsha Jordan, creator of the HUGS and HOPE Club, is a disabled grandma who cares about kids and does whatever she can to help them.
In a new book, author Thomas Baldrick calls Jordan a champion and compares her to Michael Jordan, saying: "She has done for the Internet what Michael Jordan has done for the game of basketball -- raising it to a higher level."
The book "A Million & One Ways to Celebrate a Child" is a powerful collection of real-life stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things for children. Jordan's story, entitled "Love, Happiness, and Sticky Peanut Butter" is one of the many true sources of inspiration in the book. Part of the proceeds from book sales will benefit the HUGS and HOPE Club for Sick Children.
To contact Marsha, email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>