Thursday, December 30, 2010

Before You Resolve.....

It’s that time of year when everyone is talking (or writing) about making resolutions for the New Year. Year in and year out, the most popular resolutions are related to personal health (lose weight, workout, quit smoking/drinking) or money (save more, spend less, get out debt, find a new job). And year in and year out, most people fail to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions.

Why is that? Are we that undisciplined, that uncommitted to self-improvement? Well that may be part of it, but I think the major reason we fail is that we don’t really know what we want. Before you make your New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself:

“What do I really want and am I truly willing to sacrifice to get it?”

Very few ask this two part question and those of us who do rarely give honest answers. A lot of people “want” to lose weight and say they are willing to diet and exercise. But what they “really want” is to feel good and they want to feel good now. Diet and exercise are not “feel good now” activities, at least not in the beginning. Eating ice cream is a feel good now activity. People say they want to save money and they are willing to cut back on spending. But what they “really want” is to feel good and they want to feel good now. As long as buying stuff makes people feel better than not buying stuff and saving, people will keep on spending.

The truth is that the only resolution you are likely to keep is the one that hurts you more if you don’t keep it. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions…it’s more about the stick and less about the carrot. What do you really want in 2011 and are you willing to sacrifice to get it?

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