Re:Solution … Make a plan not a promise

There’s no shortage of posts, articles and tweets debating the pros and cons of making a New Year’s resolution. It’s a silly debate because it’s not about the resolution, it’s about the outcome. People aren’t averse to setting goals, they’re afraid of failing. So instead of making a promise, make a plan.

In her column, Take a Flying Leap, in the January O Magazine, Martha Beck points out: “The leap from your mind to your calendar is the moment of commitment.” So if you want to see friends more often, pick up the phone now and book three dinner parties… voilà, resolution kept.

While my archive post below speaks to small steps, Beck’s got me thinking about loftier goals. Had the Mayans been right, I’m not sure I would have loved my last day on earth. It’s time for me to set the next big goal. (That’s going to make my husband really nervous!) As Beck writes, “You’ll live through every leap except the big one at the end. And even if you never leap, you’ll die anyway.” Guess there’s no time like the present. Here we goooooooooooo!

From the archives, but still holds true.

Embrace… then delegate the New Year’s Re:Solution

New_YearsWhy do we roll our eyes when we contemplate New Year’s resolutions? They are a moment when we’re honest with ourselves about a particular aspect of our lives that could use some improvement – be it fitness or an underwear drawer that could use an overhaul. Resolutions are an acknowledgment of a need to improve and grow and are often the root of establishing a personal vision. Honesty, personal growth and vision are all positive attributes so… why the long faces? A friend who is studying guided meditation suggests that the term ‘resolution’ puts a lot of pressure on us and we are disappointed when we ‘fail’.

If we reframe the concept from an imposition to an intention, then we relieve some of that pressure and turn a negative connotation into a positive one.

Another way to reframe is to focus on the “solution” part of the word. The re:solution is an opportunity to fix something that’s off and, since we can’t always find solutions ourselves, why not delegate part of the solution to maximize your chances of accomplishing your objectives? When you have a sore tooth, you call a dentist. So if your issue is fitness, call a trainer. Want to tackle pesky perfectionism? Book an appointment with a counselor. If you keep meaning to freshen up your home, call a painter. If learning a new language is languishing on your bucket list, sign up for a class. It doesn’t have to cost any money. If you want to clean out the garage, pick a date and ask a friend to help you out. You’ll have fun, spend time with someone you love and accomplish your objective. The act of delegating all or part of your resolution commits you to act on it. Do it now and you can be one of “those people” who love New Year’s Resolutions.

Tips for Successful Re:Solutions
1.Congratulate yourself for your vision and commitment to personal growth
2.Acknowledge that you are worth it
3.Frame your resolution as a positive action. For example, if you have a health and fitness goal: walk daily; try a new vegetable every month; book time with a trainer; etc… (Studies show it’s more difficult to stop doing something than do add something new)
4.Enlist professional help: trainer, nutritionist, painter, counselor, teacher,…
5.Keep it clear and simple and get it done early.

Just do it! You’re worth it! Happy New Year!

Published by Dominique O'Rourke

Public Affairs professional, City Councillor, MA Leadership graduate, problem solver and lifelong learner.

One thought on “Re:Solution … Make a plan not a promise

  1. Reblogged this on Accolade Communications and commented:

    I originally wrote this post in 2012 but it still holds true. Now though, I would also refer to the year when my resolution was to refresh my underwear drawer. Best resolution ever. It took one day, one shopping trip and… voilà, resolution kept!

    Bonne année to you and yours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s