A wise man once said "I resolve to make no resolutions." Or if he didn't say that, he should have.
With New Year's Day fast approaching here in the States, all manner of things abound on the internet. "Best of 2011" lists are being posted all over the place, from books to movies to blog posts. People are doing their Year in Review posts, and they are looking forward to 2012.
This got me thinking about New Year's Resolutions. Year after year, we say we'll change something/do better at something/be a better person. And year after year, we fall back into the same old patterns. Why? Because change is hard. Real change requires commitment and determination.
Real change means that you have to do it for yourself, not because you flip the calendar to a new year and people say you should.
I'm thinking about this for two reasons. One, someone I follow on Twitter was talking about losing weight, keeping it off, and how it has to be a lifestyle change. Two, someone I've known for over three years told me he might be trying to quit smoking again (this will be the fifth time since I've known him). In order to succeed at those two things, the person must want to do it.
Yes, I know it's not as easy as simply saying "I want this." Life isn't like that. But having a positive mindset and being determined to reach your goal for yourself definitely gets that goal closer to you.
Another reason so many resolutions fail is that while people are good at the "what?" of a resolution, they aren't very good at the "How?" part. How are you going to achieve your goal? How are you going to lose ten pounds? How are you going to quit a ten-year smoking habit? How are you going to "be a better person?"
And don't forget to consider "how long?" Give yourself a proper amount of time to achieve this goal. Don't rush change, and don't expect more from yourself than you can reasonably achieve--setting unreasonable expectations is another way to set yourself up for failure.
So be smart about your resolutions this year. And if I don't post again before then, see y'all in 2012!