The Christmas celebrations are over for another year. We’re approaching 2016 and we’re heading up north to spend New Years with our best friends (more like family) at their cottage.
Recently I was working through what I want for 2016 as there’s so much happening in life and business. There’s the easy stuff to consider like a continued focus on weight loss and improved health, more love for my family, more time for quiet walks in the woods, etc. Then there’s the things requiring more thought regarding my business. So many goals to work out like the number of clients, revenue goals, conferences to speak at, type of work I’m going to do and who I want to do this work with.
I could make some resolutions. After all it is New Years Eve approaching and thousands of people pledge some form of resolution or another at this time of year. Enough of this procrastinating I’m just going to do it! So here goes:
For 2016 I resolve to:
- Lose another 25 pounds
- Exercise for one hour per day — 7 days per week
- Keep my home office clean (ie. no crap all over my desk)
- Do a better job of keeping my truck clean
Clear goals … that should work right?!? I’ll even put them on a post-it on the wall above my monitor to keep them front of mind. Resolutions all sounds so nice but what are the odds of actually doing these things based on a resolution? I’ve seen different research which basically says; less than 25% of people are still thinking about their resolution after one week.
Here’s my resolution for 2016: I will not make any resolutions!
I’m far from surprised by such dismal success rates regarding New Years resolutions. In creating resolutions for ourselves, we’re essentially trying to make a change by obligating or shaming ourself into it. I look fat so I should loose weight. My office is always a mess so I should clean it up. I should exercise as we all know what statistics say when we don’t.
Resolutions are largely based on trying to obligate ourself into doing something. In the mental state of obligation (even one imposed on ourself) we work from a place of advice and compliance. Just like it sounds giving advice and compliance doesn’t actually result in change only action. Without change though we’re unlikely to continue the action.
In fact if we’re in a state of Obligation, we have an escape mechanism known as Quit to protect ourselves. In Quit I find some really helpful tools like procrastination which give me permission to not exercise, not clean up my desk and not lose weight. Quit is kind of handy when it comes to trying to do the hard things in life.
What I want for myself comes from a mental state of Responsibility. In Responsibility I don’t look at what I am going to do, rather I look at what I want. In July 2014 I was 260 pounds, my hypertension and asthma were worsening, and I rarely exercised (although we were somewhat active). Given I was 48 at the time I know the risks of stroke or heart disease are increasing. So what I committed myself to is a quality of life for decades to come in which I could live, work and play to my fullest for as long as I can. In other words, I’d be damned if I’m going down without a fight!
Fast forward to today: I turn 50 in a couple months, I’m 220 pounds, I exercise 4-5 days per week, my hypertension is improving, and I haven’t felt my asthma for I don’t know how long. Due to a minor injury I’ve had to put exercise on the shelf for a few weeks, and I know I will be back to it soon! I want to continue on this track as I haven’t felt this alive in a very long time!
As we approach 2016 I’d love for you to join me in a #NoResolutions movement. Resolve not to create resolutions. Do not go buy the exercise machine or gym membership just because its’ New Years. The statistics say you’re only going to help the bottom line of the gym you give your money to.
I encourage you to slow things down a little at this time of year. Take some time for a quiet walk in the woods, or sitting in front of a fireplace. Get out of your head as it’s way too logical in there. Instead listen to what’s coming from your heart. Ask yourself what is the future you really want for yourself. What is the life you want for yourself. What are you ready to commit to which will make a beautiful and fulfilling life possible?
Don’t do this because it’s New Years. Do this because you have been given one of the most beautiful gifts possible … a life!
#NoResolutions – What are you ready to commit to?
Note: You may find an answer which has you buying a gym membership or exercise equipment. That’s wonderful, but do it when you’re ready to commit to YOUR life … not because its’ New Years Eve!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Mike! Great post! I join you in the #NoResolutions movement! As I’ve continued to integrate all aspects of my life (from your “Whole Self” philosophy), I’ve adopted a continuous personal improvement mindset, which makes resolutions obsolete. Making small, real-time adjustments and celebrating those wins are more helpful than the big promises we make to ourselves. My success rate has skyrocketed with this approach, and I encourage others to try it on and see if it works for them.
Congratulations on your continued successes along your personal journey! Thank you for sharing your personal stories and being a continual source of inspiration. Here’s to another year of wins!!!
Thanks Joe and I look forward to seeing what the New Year brings for you as well!