When Resolutions Don’t Work
Eighty percent of the New Year’s resolution gym crowd drops off by the second week of February per a study from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. This is why I don’t believe in resolutions because most don’t last. But the new year can be a good reminder to start making ongoing commitments to yourself -- which can happen any time of the year and should be an ongoing process.
Even at the yoga studio I own I see this happen. Each year we get packed in January because most people have the intention to fulfill a resolution and start the new year fresh, but for many life gets in the way. Many times people choose resolutions that don’t resonate with them, so it feels like a chore, rather than something that feels good or natural. Additionally, we all want immediate results, rather than enjoying the in between part of learning a new craft, the little wins along the way, and the setting of new goals for ourselves throughout the year.
Rather than making a resolution once a year, think about making a commitment to keep a personal monthly review in place. We often spend time creating career goals, but not goals for our total self. To create business, balance & bliss, it’s important to find ways to keep yourself aware of how you feel and agile enough to make changes throughout the year, not just every 12 months. To do this, set a calendar appointment to review yourself each month so you don’t forget. I recommend dividing your review into 5 areas and asking yourself the below questions:
What are you doing in your life to create happiness -- at work and personally? To maintain balance, it's important that you find ways to enjoy the people around you and be able to keep positive feelings in your heart and mind. What monthly goal could you put in place to ensure you do that?
What financial goals do you want to meet in your career and personal life? Are there loans to pay off or less purchases to make on credit? Is there a raise or bonus you are striving for? If you are always wanting more financially or regularly coming from behind to keep up -- what can you change in a small way to make a big difference? How can you ensure you stay on track on a monthly basis and keep yourself accountable?
Are you making the routine doctor appointments you need to maintain your wellness? Are there areas where you can improve the food choices you eat to reduce inflammation in your body and create a healthier lifestyle? How is your sleep and what could you do to improve it? For example, making small lifestyle changes such as eating clean, nutritious food can help you stay at the top of your intellectual game. What's one thing can you do each month to keep yourself on track with your health?
4. Marketing/Sales (personal brand):
Whether you are in business for yourself, a sales person or work internally in a corporation, ensuring you are working on your brand is important. You can do this in a variety of ways whether it be through social media, networking internally or externally, or planning marketing campaigns for your business. Keeping yourself accountable to do this each month can help you on your path of sustaining bliss in business. What is one thing you can plan to do each month to ensure you are promoting the areas that will drive success for you in your business life?
5. Creating Work/Life Harmony:
This is the ebb and flow of life between work, your personal life and family. Are you too stressed at work or at home or not taking enough time for yourself to reset throughout the day? This doesn’t mean it has to be a major activity, it can be as simple as closing your eyes for 2 minutes and being silent, reading a book, taking a walk, listening to music. It may be a longer activity if you can spare the time to exercise, dance, play on a sports team, play an instrument or do something artistic. Whatever it is, taking mental breaks that you schedule throughout the day are critical to relieve stress and help you be more present at work and home. What could you plan to schedule in on days you have more time or on the days where time is limited so you can achieve harmony in your life?
Many times we focus on the outcome rather than the process of learning about ourselves. It’s that in between part where we truly learn the most. To make yourself accountable to learning from the in-between, ask yourself these 5 questions as part of your monthly review:
What have I learned?
What didn’t I like?
What didn’t work?
What did I accomplish?
We can then start evaluating what we need to adjust in our lives on a real-time basis -- rather than waiting for each January. It helps us create sustained happiness in our lives when we consistently check in with ourselves and reboot each month to stay on track .
There is no one but you who can congratulate yourself each day for the little wins that add up to big wins. Make a commitment to yourself to take notice and stick with your own monthly personal review, rather than a one-time resolution. This will help you rise above the 80 percent failure rate of new year’s resolutions!
View this monthly review sheet for an easy check in each month.