The end of a year and the beginning of a new one is traditionally a time to look back with introspection and look forward with an eye toward self-improvement. Self-analysis and goal setting are terrific tools to aid us in our efforts to grow, learn and achieve. The setting of New Year’s resolutions is an admirable endeavor, but for so many of us, those resolutions are never fully achieved. Why is that?
Webster defines the word “resolution” as:
:the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.
: the act of resolving something
: an answer or solution to something
: the ability of a device to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail
With this definition in mind, the idea of a New Year’s resolution centers around finding an “answer” or a “solution”. It is an “act” of resolving something, an “answer or a solution” to something.
It would seem the failure of resolutions lies not in the thought process, but in the practice of action and of following through to completion. The new year wipes the slate clean and we begin anew with a firm commitment to doing all things better. This is the year we will get fit, eat healthier, go back to school, or (insert your resolution here). We start out with passion and purpose. Then, a few months later we forget all about it. Challenges and circumstances of our daily lives thwart our efforts and throw us off course.
In contemplating my own New Year’s resolution this year, it occurred to me that we make things too hard on ourselves. If we eliminate the pressure to start that resolution on January 1 and instead make every day an effort to be the best person we can be, isn’t that a better strategy? Sweeping changes don’t occur overnight. Big goals don’t happen suddenly, or without a sustained commitment.
How then, will we know that we have achieved completion of our resolution? A wise man recently shared with me how he measures success. Very simply, he looks in the mirror at the end of the day. If he likes what he sees and can look himself square in the eye feeling that he did the right thing that day, then the day was a success.
Pretty simple. Think about it.