Remaining Resolute about your Resolutions or Resolutions Arrrrrgghhh!

RESOLUTIONS: can strike fear in us.

Fear of FAILURE.  

Fear of the PAIN of the PROCESS.

Even Fear of Success.

For that matter FEAR of FEAR itself……OK…I’m sorry… but, you get the idea?

It’s publicly declaring your intentions to CHANGE something about yourself or do something completely different. Yicks!!

There’s lots to consider before “putting yourself out there.” Here are my 2 cents worth (?) on the topic along with the source of what has worked so well for me.

Weight loss, starting an exercise program, vowing to eat a better diet, learning something new; resolutions can run the gamut.  For best results I’ve found:

Rule #1    Make it YOUR resolution, not someone else’s for you.

Even if it’s your Doctor’s recommendation, you know in your gut whether or not you’ll comply as you walk out the office door. Am I right? (We’ll talk more about those things that certainly ARE the right thing to do, that you have just been putting off, later.)  So start with what matters to YOU.

Rule #2  Make your resolution REASONABLE. No: I’m going to drop 20 lbs in 2 weeks or the like. (Here’s the nurse in me talking: Any major diet / exercise changes should  first be discussed with your Physician. Just do it!)

Rule #3   Don’t be overwhelmed by the size of the task. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve tried before and failed. Don’t be afraid. It’s immobilizing.

Rule #4 Create a plan. Write it down. It gives your resolution  legitimacy. This should also take some of the angst out of the process as you take the big, scary  change and break it down into do-able, progressive steps. It allows you to track your progress and see how far you’ve come. It also allows you to evaluate your strategy and make changes before heading too far in a less than productive direction.

Rule #5 You need to do at least ONE thing, every day, to get you closer to your goal. Document it. I found that if it was something particularly unfamiliar to me (aka scary), I was better off doing it as soon as possible in the day so it didn’t loom ever larger as the day progressed. It lead to a sense of relief and accomplishment that could positively color the rest of the day.

Rule #6 Is your plan getting you where you want to go? Don’t be afraid to rethink your original plan if you’ve found a better way, progressed faster than you thought (Yaay!!) or are not progressing as fast as you think you could, Change your plan! Nothing is chiseled in stone here.

Rule #7 Repeat steps 5 &6 until you reach your goal. (Yaaaay!!)

Rule #8 Don’t beat yourself up for miss-steps. There’s no point in it and to do so can grind your efforts to a halt. In the words of Miss Scarlett:” Tomorrow’s another day! ” See Rule #3 and proceed!

Hmmm a strategy for success in under 9 Rules?    Sweeeet!!

But wait a minute, back to that pesky scenario of when you know it’s something you should do, but you just keep putting it off. No… I did not forget….for I have been here too!!

Let’s go back to 1998.

It’s a late September night and I’m flipping through the TV channels. I land on an infomercial by Anthony Robbins (stick with me here!). I’d seen him before on TV and was intrigued by his story, and so, I listened. At the end of the program I bought the 30 day program: Personnel Power II. It came and I promptly put it on a shelf, until the following January. Why, you might ask? Well, because I smoked at the time. I’m not talking occasional cigarette, I’m talking, if I was awake, I was smoking. Not cigarettes left unattended (how rude!), no, SMOKING!! As a nurse I knew all the reasons why I shouldn’t. Smoking was my pal, and my crutch and certainly what happens to others wouldn’t happen to me (Really, Claire??!) I had tried (and succeeded) a number of times to stop, only to restart for one reason or another, feeling the sense of failure that accompanies that merry-go-round. (See Rule#8). I knew the program would address such a transgression and I wasn’t sure I was ready to say good-bye to such a good friend.

None the less, I started the program on January 1st of 1999 and by day three he addressed my transgression (Dagmabit!).  The difference here was that he used what he called the “Dickens Process”. Check it out on You Tube for the best explanation, but it involves evaluating your present situation. What it costs you physically, emotionally, financially, relationships wise and so on. Not just thinking of these things, but feeling the impact of those costs, and then projecting and compounding that impact out over 5, 10 and 20 years.

On day four of the program I stopped smoking. No kidding, and remarkably it was without angst or struggle. The benefits of not smoking far outweighed the costs, on so many levels, of continuing to do so.

Certainly they always had! Where I had failed by thinking it through, trying to stay busy, sheer will, and acupuncture (Which did work,  but not in face of really needing a crutch.) FEELING the impact made all the difference in the world. I knew I didn’t want to be the me I saw 20 years out and still smoking like that. Heck, if there would even BE a 20 years out! I’d been Dickens-ed and it worked! I finished that 30 day program and I credit much of what I have achieved to it.

So the next time your Doctor or a family member or a friend suggests a resolution that you know in your heart you should take up, rather than dismissing them, perhaps, allow yourself to be Dickens-ed. It worked for me and I sincerely hope it will work for you as well.

Ahhhh,  there IS a Rule #9 to add to this effort.  Different things work for different people. Should you find that this strategy is not the “Holy Grail” for you, that it was for me- KEEP LOOKING, KEEP TRYING and NEVER GIVE UP ON THOSE THINGS YOU WANT TO CHANGE OR ACHIEVE IN YOUR LIFE!


(See Medical Disclaimer Blog Post)