Webster defines a resolution as a statement of good intentions that we never actually follow through on but sounds good on December 31st. Hold on…oops; that’s actually the real-life definition. And let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter what Webster says. This is what happens in reality.
Let’s Alter the Concept
All too often, we spend each January with high hopes of transformation through resolution, only to find that our resolve breaks down long before Valentine’s Day cards are even exchanged. We haven’t lost that extra weight. Our relationships are still a mess. We don’t have that new job. Our road to recovery has relapsed.
Why do we bother making the same few New Year’s Resolutions every winter?
Look, the basic concept is a good one. We see things in our lives that we want to be different going into the next year. So, we decide to work toward altering these circumstances or strive toward making adjustments in our thoughts and behaviors. But the resolutions aren’t enough. What we need is change.
Ways to Truly Make Change in Your Life
For real change to occur in our lives, it takes more than a resolution. And with that in mind, let’s look at a few ideas to consider once you’re ready to make that change a reality.
- Make a Plan; Skip the ResolutionsWriting down that you resolve to lose 16 pounds in 2016 will not rid you of those love handles. Announcing to the world of social media that you are resolved to never drink again will not keep you sober. You must have specific actions steps in place to reach these goals. It can’t remain a dreamy statement that you want to happen in the next year. You have to make it happen.
Schedule your daily exercise routine. Start planning out healthy meals and only buy foods what will help you eat better. Find an AA group. Get a sponsor. Check into a rehab facility. Figure out what it will honestly take to reach your goal, then make a detailed plan to get there.
- Figure Out Your Past FailuresGet to the root of why you have failed in the past. We often self-sabotage. Are you afraid of who you will be once you are sober? Do you struggle with self-esteem issues that keep you overweight? Somewhere deep inside do you feel you aren’t worthy of that new job you say you want? Do a bit of self-discovery. This might involve reflection, journaling, counseling, group therapy, or other methods that will help you understand your past patterns and change them for the future.
- Prepare Yourself for the Long HaulThis won’t be easy. At least, not for most of us…most of the time. Remember that plan you put in place? It will require a lot from you to put it in action, and keep putting it in action. Recognize that it’s going to take a lot of work and probably some hard times to get to the destination of change. There will probably be some stumbles and setbacks along the way…but you’ve got to keep pushing forward. Go in with eyes wide open, ready to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.
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