Yes! You are almost there with your long haul resolution setting! Today we are going to decide how to implement your resolution. In effect what we are doing with a Resolution is creating a new habit. Some would say that there is a certain amount of time that one must daily do your resolution to make it stick – I have read variously thirty, forty or even ninety days. However, not all Resolutions are going to be daily ones. So what we need to do is to set up a cue-action-reward sequence:
1. Many resolutions fail simply because people forget about doing it. Decide what is going to be your reminder. It could be a literal alarm on your phone. Or connect your new action with one you already do with which it is a natural fit. It might be that your Resolution requires some advance planning. Decide what is your cue for that.
2.Identify your reward. I am not necessarily suggesting that you have a treat each time you perform your Resolution ( although I am certainly not going to nag if you decide to be kind to yourself that way!) . Rather, the reward might be intrinsic to your resolution, but it is important that you stop and notice it. So, for example, if you resolve to workout three times a week, you may notice that your skin is better and your body more supple. Learn to observe and enjoy the reward.
Then today, take a step towards performing your Resolution for the first time.
I want this blog to be a conversation between me and you, so Salon Sunday will be a regular feature. You are all invited to hang out here and discuss, via comments, the topic of the day, previous posts or in fact anything at all relevant to Planning Creating and Succeeding. Feel free to start your own topic for discussion and to continue to chat all week.
Will you share with us your expereinces of using my journaling exrecises on how to set a Meaning ful New Yesr’s Resolution? What did you learn? What are your Resolutions?
Have you stuck to previous resolutions? What tips do you have for doing that?
Today we are going to do what you have been longing to do. We are going to declare your Resolution.
But there are rules! Sorry, but I am not going to let this be as easy as you think.
1. First write your Resolution in a positive form. Do not include in your Resolution anything you are trying to get rid of. So not, I am going to stop playing on Facebook until two in the morning but rather Each evening I am going to go to bed at eleven and read for half an hour before getting a full nights sleep. Not I am going to eat less junk food but instead I am going to eat a healthy diet This is because you are going to be thinking about this resolution a lot. And you know that the more you think about NOT having Facebook or Big Macs the more you are going to crave them. One point of a good Resolution is to help you change your mindset by focusing on the good things
2. Then, incorporate into your Resolution the feelings and emotions you based them on. So now we might have I am going to ensure I feel full of energy by going to bed at eleven… or I am going to make myself proud of my body by eating a healthy diet.
3. Thirdly, incorporate ( still in a positive form) the way in which you will avoid the worst of the obstacles you identified. For example, let’s say that as soon as you set foot in your work cafeteria you are a sucker for the fish and chips. You might write, so that I can feel really proud of my body I will make a packed lunch each day as part of an overall healthy diet.
4. You will probably find that step three is already prompting you to be specific about your actions, but have another rewrite and make sure that your goal is as defined as possible so that you know that you have performed your resolution. What for example do you mean by a healthy diet? How will you measure that? maybe you want to rewrite to so that I can feel really proud of my body I will make a packed lunch each day as part of an overall helathy diet which incorporates five portions of fruits and veg a day.
5. counter check that your resolution is achievable and reaslistic. So if yor work team has a lunch meeting once a week that you must particpate in you may make your resolution to take a packed lunch four days a week.
when you have done taht give yourself a little reward for all your hard thinking work. Tomorrow we will look at how to implement your Resolution
Yesterday you wrote about some ideas of how you could recreate the feelings you hankered after in your life. I want you to pick one of those actions to form the basis of your resolution.
But, before we begin to examine how you are going to put that action into practice we are going to journal about why you are not doing it already and why that feeling is lacking in your life. This might seem unduly negative but unless we understand how our resolution might be sabotaged we will not be able to stick to the Resolution in the coming weeks. We need to identify the possible obstacles.
So, today’s journaling is about just that:
Who in your life needs to be brought on board ( or removed from your life!) if this is to happen?
What excuses do you make that you need to change?
Is there something you will have to sacrifice to make this happen? Are you prepared to do that?
What current features of your life need to be adjusted?
What do you need to really believe and accept if you are to implement your Resolution?
What negative feelings or fears might crop up when you think about your potential Resolution?
You know what to do by now- twenty minutes nonstop.. off you go…!
Today we are going to start to extract from your fantasy film some real yearnings which will eventually lead us to a good choice of Resolution.
The first step is to identify the top things from your film that are really calling you. If you could have one or two things what would it be? Don’t dismiss things because they seem impossible, because these are not necessarily going to be your actual Resolution. The features your choose will probably be the ones you carried on thinking about after you closed your journal yesterday.
When you have identified the important things ( three is probably a good number to focus on, but that’s up to you) I want you to journal about why you feel so drawn to them.
How do these film features make you feel?
What would they add to you life that you don’t have now?
What lack in your life are they fulfilling?
For example, lets say I had myself living in a house boat in Amsterdam with quirky painted furniture and fresh tulips in a milk bottle in a vase on the table. For me that would be a hankering to rekindle a holiday in just such a place. In fact the boat was cramped, with the world’s worst shower and far too hot in the middle of a heat wave. But I tend to forget that and so it was probably in my film because I remember the tranquility of watching ducks swim by my window, the lazy hours reading in the window sea and the copious pancake eating the proximity to art galleries. My picture of me on that boat makes me feel relaxed and still. It makes me feel uncluttered and unburdened. I remember that I had just recovered from an illness and the boat felt very renewing. I was surrounded by cultural institutions which is not the case where I live.
Get the idea?
Off you go then. Identify the whys and then close the journal.
All this week I will be doing a series of posts on how to make meaningful New Year's Resolutions that will last and will make a significant difference to your life. Each day there will be a short journaling exercise which will take you one step closer to setting up that resolution. It may seem at first that the exercises are irrelevant but as the days build up you will see that they come together to give you a strong doable resolution with in built success mechanisms
Today we will look at how to choose a resolution. So often we snatch one out of the air. Usually the old hoary ones like: I will lose weight this year. We like the idea of. a fresh start, a clean slate. However, we don't choose our resolution with understanding and do not implement it with good foundations, the result being that it lasts all of about ten days then is put to the back of our minds to be dragged out next year. This year I really will lose weight.
The first problem we face in making resolutions is that we choose at random, we choose what we think we ought to pick because of societal or family pressure or we choose without a real understanding of what, deep down we want and need in our life.
So the first two days are going to be looking that that issue before we move on to how to make the resolution stick.
For today's exercise I want you to imagine your future life has been made into a film. You are watching one of those montages of snapshots from the film, meant to give you a flavour of what it is all about. Journal about what you see. Be specific in your descriptions. Use the prompts below to assist you if need be. Let fantasy reign. Do not stop to think: but that can never be. This first step is about wild ideals and imaginings. It is about letting your hidden instincts loose on the safety of a private page. It is not about guessing what your real life is likely to be like tomorrow. It is about reinventing your life so it has all the good bits of now and the good bits you long for. Its is about resetting you life if you want to do that.
Write and do not censor yourself. Journaling wisdom says that if you do this for at least twenty minutes you will get over early inhibitions, get into the flow and will get to the real buried treasure deep within.
When you are finished close the book and leave it be until tomorrow. But you are allowed to carry your dream with you as you live the next 24 hours
Where is the film set?
Who plays you and your family members?
What do you dress in?
Where do you live?
What do your days look like?
What are you eating?
How do you speak?
What is the plot? What do you overcome?
What are the people like that you surround yourself with?
What is NOT in this life?