"Wise to resolve, and patient to perform." - Homer
Forty days have passed since the beginning of a new year. It seems a good time to ask the AR community: "So, how are those New Year's resolutions working out?"
Many of us make them every year, we resolve to, in one way or another, make ourselves a bit better than we were the year before. It seems that most of us agree a little improvement might serve us well. I think we should all get a point or two for just feeling the need. Improvement is a fine goal.
But sometimes we mere mortals aren't as strong as we would like to be. Sometimes resolutions fall aside, they become wishes that didn't come true instead of remaining vows to be kept.
So what about you? Are you 40 days into being that improved person? Or just 40 days into another year? Right now, I'm just 40 days into another year. But that can change. I still have something more than 300 days left in this year to get those changes to stick.
I know a Buddhist monk in Asia who once told me members of his monastery renounce things or actions regularly. The point, he said, is not about improving ourselves. He believes we already are just fine. But it is good practice to remind ourselves how we are victims of our habits, how little control we really have - even over ourselves. It is good practice to deny ourselves something we think want or to make ourselves do something we think we don't want to do. With enough practice, it starts to become easier until one day we find ourselves controlling our habits rather than our habits controlling us.
The notion of changing ourselves for the better is a sentiment shared around the world. It is a fight we all fight.
Wise people have given this much thought. There are things we can do, tools we can use, to increase the odds our hoped for changes will stick. Here's a couple:
- Reward yourself. Replace what is being given up with something new or give yourself a reward when taking a new positive action.
- Imagine a better you. Visualize succeeding in your resolution.
- Work the numbers. After 30 days constant effort is no longer needed to maintain a positive change or to stay away from a negative habit. After 90 days, it is as easy to maintain a change as it is to resort to old ways. After 365 days, it is easier to continue in your new pattern than to return to an old one.
- Experiment. If a resolution failed, find another approach. Or, find another resolution. Certainly there is more than one way we can all improve.
- and a thousand other suggestions easily found with a quick Goggle.
and just one more, from me ...
- Damn it, try harder!
We still have more than 300 days in this year. We still have plenty of time to make our resolutions stick.
What resolutions have you kept? Or, what resolutions have just become wishes? And what do you intend to do about it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Grant Sasek works for Real Estate Pipeline, an on-line lead generation service.