A resolution really is an opportunity to “define yourself.” Defining one’s self is tantamount to saying, “this is what I will do; this is what I will not do.” Or, “this is what I believe; this is what I do not believe.” And then acting on these, even in the face of opposition. It’s really about being very intentional based on previously determined principles.
Defining yourself could be as broad as knowing what your ethics and convictions are. But it’s even more practical than that. It could simply mean knowing what you believe and will do about a particular project, initiative, or resolution. This implies, being willing to clearly and calmly state your position on the matter, take a stand, and go it alone if necessary. It’s about standing on your own two feet in the face of group pressure and weakened will-power. Not easy to do, I admit.
Whether it’s about losing weight or making an unpopular recommendation to your boss, here are some suggestions for strengthening your convictions/resolutions and defining yourself:
- Why is this important? Is there a distinct life principle behind it that is critical to you? (i.e. “Self-care is a cornerstone for a successful life and losing X pounds is key to that.”)
- Is this my conviction? Ask yourself, “Is this belief or action based on my own well-thought-out principles or am I caving in to group pressure or weakened will-power?”
- What resources will it require? What resources are you willing to commit to this decision (i.e. time, emotional energy)? In our society, time, is the most scarce resource. Every self-care initiative will require it – period. Emotional energy is also required, especially in the face a position you take, say, with your boss. An intentional commitment to it is a solid first step.
- What advanced planning will it require? For “low-structure” people like myself, I have to plan ahead if it’s going to happen. I can’t just say, “yea, let’s talk soon.” I have to schedule it. For some, we even have to schedule relaxation or down-time!
- Do you have a trusted confidant? While these decisions and actions are our own, having a trusted accountability partner can be valuable. Whether a good friend or a coach, entrust someone with your commitment, the principle/s behind it and check in with them from time to time on your progress.
Principled convictions, deliberate plans, and committed resources are the best ways to ensure that our great ideas turn into reality!