Along with many of you, discussions about a New Year’s resolution end with either a disclaimer or a stab at humor. “I resolve to eat more chocolate; I resolve to walk around the block one time on February 23; I resolve not to resolve!” And then we feel a slight pang because past experience has taught us that New Year’s Resolutions are full of good intentions and dreams that lack the energy for a committed follow through. Even worse, these are usually things we really want.
One reason for this persistent feeling of failure is that the resolution frequently is stated in a way that suggests for a whole new year we will be a different person. Our resolve has an inherent belief that willpower will be strong enough to help us achieve our goal.
I resolve to make a plan….
Caroline Arnold, who wrote Small Move, Big Change: Using Microresolutions to Transform Your Life Permanently, says it this way:
“Successful resolutions stem from microresolutions that target our specific situation. We begin by breaking down the big idea or big goal, into something small that can become automatic, or counter something that has become habitual. A few years ago, I resolved as a stress reducer to begin playing the piano again. I pulled out a well-worn book of Debussy preludes only to discover that I couldn’t play them at all. I was ready to walk away from the resolutions—almost immediately. However, I targeted my situation and broke the big goal down into a first microresultion and approached it again by finding a piano teacher. This was followed by several microreulstions—each exciting and doable.”
What is your big goal? You can keep it in mind but will more likely achieve it if you concentrate on a first step.