Today is Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day and since I only made a few big ones, I can’t decide which ones I want to leave on the cutting room floor. Seriously though, I suspect many of you made lofty ones too, so, let’s see where we are today and really get serious about moving forward tomorrow!
The problem with resolutions is that we need resolve to make them work. Saying you will get up earlier, leave home sooner, spend less, save more, lose weight, revamp the closets, yada, yada, yada, all sounded good at the time, but less than three weeks in, if we’re not careful, our best-laid plans are headed out the door with the wrapping paper. Don’t let them and here’s why:
- You’re close to victory, don’t give up yet. Researchers tell us that it takes 21 days to permanently change habits—17 is not 21. Refocus your energies, celebrate your successes and analyze your missteps but don’t throw in the towel. In 31 is Thirty-wonderful, A Prayer and Reflection Journey/Journal for Triumphant Women, I asked busy women to take 31 minutes for 31 days to listen/hear from God. Technically there’s nothing magical about 31 days but I discovered the additional 10 days of focused effort made sure new habits were fully formed and you’re truly on your way to being triumphant. You’re too close to turn back now.
- Don’t get distracted by a technicality. There was something so formal about the word “resolution” that I kept getting sidetracked. I started calling my plans “rungs” (like on a ladder) and I drew a ladder and labeled each rung with action steps that would get me to the top by 2017. Rungs, plans, resolutions—whatever—pick one and get going. The only way up is up!!!
- Make sure you have a timeline and strategic and specific steps—resolutions without timelines are just good intentions. First, decide where/when you want to go and then work backwards. Superstar Tina Turner told Oprah she plotted and planned her way to freedom. She knew how many concerts, albums, cities—you get the picture—it would take to reach her goals and she stayed focused to get there. We must too—whether it’s starting a business, retiring, buying a new home or some cool wheels, begin with the end in mind, suggests best-selling author Stephen Covey. If you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, buy them instead of chips and Oreos (I had to block the Oreos from my cell because they kept texting me.)
- Know your vulnerabilities. If you have a difficult time saving money, stop shopping and put the money you would’ve spent in your dream account. If you need to lose weight, take a walk, drink more water, and make your lunch at home so you won’t overspend or overeat! Be proactive, stay focused and conquer Ditch Day 2016.
31 is Thirty-wonderful is available on Kindle. Order it today from Amazon.com or www.touchedbygraceministry.com.