Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Unveiling of New Year Resolutions

Now, that we’ve had a bit of a history lesson about New Year Resolutions it’s time to buckle down and really discuss what we know about them.

Top 10 Most Common New Year Resolutions are:

1. Exercise more/Lose weight

2. Stop smoking

3. Stick to a budget

4. Save or earn more money

5. Find a better job

6. Become more organized

7. Stop procrastinating

8. Be more patient at work/with others

9. Eat healthier

10. Become a better person

Looking at the top 10 most common New Year Resolutions it’s apparent that we, those of us who make resolutions, do so with a goal in mind. There is something we wish to be, accomplish, change or obtain. However, what most of us do, is arbitrarily set our resolutions based on our shortfalls or a desired outcome and end result in mind.

For example, my shortfall is, I spend too much money and can’t handle money so my resolution for this year is, to stick to a budget? Just some food for thought, but if you don’t know how to manage your budget or handle money, what does sticking to a budget mean to you?

So to no surprise, a few weeks (for some it’s just a few days and a selected few, it might be months) into the New Year, we renounce our resolutions and surrender ourselves to the way things are and have always been. Here are 10 reasons why:

Top 10 Most Common Reasons Why People Will Not Succeed:

1. Made too big of a resolution

2. Made the wrong resolution

3. Lacked a plan for success

4. Made a resolution for someone else

5. Lacked support

6. Lacked a genuine commitment

7. Lacked motivation

8. Lacked passion towards the resolution(s)

9. Insufficient resources

10. Had little to no accountability

Hmmm…does this mean that every year we have a tradition that technically sets up for failure? Or, is it our lack of knowledge, understanding, planning and beliefs in regards to our resolutions that sets us up for failure, not the resolutions?

Coach Ann Bernard


Geoff_Livingston said...

Outstanding entry. I love this stuff, and I think this makes for great fodder for many to consider.

Allison said...

In response to what we do to set ourselves up for failure...

I think our belief systems about failure can have a profound effect on our resolution outcome. Dr. Marty Seligman (University of Pennsylvania), author of Authenitc Happiness and a leader in Positive Psychology, studies the correlation between optimism and success. Through decades of scientific study, he has discovered that failure affects people differently based on whether they have an optimistic or pessimistic attitude towards life. When pessimists fail, they typically blame themselves, feel guilty or hopeless, and lose motivation. Optimists, on the other hand, view failures as temporary, "technical difficulties" to reaching success. Optimists bounce back with even greater force after failures; pessimists use failures as reasons to quit.

So, perhaps we can take away some wisdom from the current research on optimism and happiness. We do have control over our belief systems about failure. While it may take some time and intentioned thinking, we can shift how we think about failures to a more optimistic approach - one that allows for some speed bumps and minor obstacles along our path to success. But we won't blame ourselves and make excuses this time! This time, our failures will motivate us to succeed!