Like most theories, unless there is proof they are just opinions. Misguided opinions. And really, mostly worthless. They give us hope. False hope. We still like to take comfort in them. It could work out that way. Sometimes it does. But the smart ones know better. What do we know?
Most of us know it never works out like that. It is pie in the sky bullshit. We will get over the euphoria, the hype, the fantasy and crash back to reality when we revert to the mean that is our personality, habits and happiness sweet spot.
We will make resolutions. Or at least we think we will. But what most of us are doing is calling resolutions something that they are not. Aspirations. We are expressing aspirations. And the two are not the same thing. They have a degree of commitment and determination that are entirely different. And in reality, most aspirations are goals we wish we would achieve, but likely wont because we really don't care that much about them in the first place. If we never do, we likely will be okay with that. We might regret them on our death beds, but we might not. Unless we are resolute about them, like we must do them, life or death type of stuff, we simply wont.
Today, I am discussing New Years Resolutions.
In my world, words mean something. They are meant to communicate very specific things when used correctly and understood. That guides me and how I live. If you don't use the correct word to express the thought in your head, then I can't understand what you truly mean, what you want and how I am expected to try and respond.
It works the same within yourself. If you don't even understand what you are trying to achieve, then you likely will not have much of any chance to achieve anything that furthers your own personal goals.
Let us begin there.
New Years resolutions without consequences attached for non compliance are likely just wishes that will not be fulfilled.
That is the premise of my blog today.
Resolution. What exactly is a resolution?
When you are resolute, what are you?
1. firm in purpose or belief; steadfast
2. characterized by resolution; determined
Aspiration. What exactly is a aspiration?
- A hope or ambition of achieving something:.
- The object of such an ambition; a goal.
- a strong desire to achieve something high or great
I aim to watch one movie a day, at least 5 a week so that I catch up on the major backlog I have stored up. Because of You Tube and the internet, the availability of older and some newer movies has made this a worthy endeavor.
I want to write at least 20 blogs a month. But of better quality. My topics are usually pretty good. My writing and my writing style are not bad, but my finished product is horribly poor at times, relative to what I can actually do. I chalk that up to all the things I do and my aim to do one blog a day, which is not reasonable. I have tried to find the happy medium here for myself. But it is not a resolution nor do I think I really care that much about this.
I want to write more short stories. This is basically a wish. I have no plan for this. Just that I want to do it. I used to do a lot more of this and for whatever reason I just stopped. I just hope it happens and I will be mindful periodically if I am not. Hopefully that will be enough to get it done. Surely, I don't have a shortage of topics or starting points, so it is just the desire to actually pick the fruit off my idea tree.
Resolutions vs. aspirations
What really matters to you? Aspirations, they are just dreams and hopes. Something you are resolute about does. You must achieve it. You can't imagine a scenario where you don't. Almost a life and death thing. And as with anything that is life and death, if you fail, there are consequences. Grave consequences. In terms of life and death, if you fail, you lose your life.
What is your metaphorical loss of life thing? The thing that you absolutely would rather die than do?
Having a coaching background, my theory is that very few are motivated enough strictly with the succeed factor to stick with it. The majority need a negative feedback consequence incentive to actually do it. People are naturally the type that are not driven to the point that they get it done simply on drive. I count myself in that group as well. I know myself very well. Well enough to know that any resolution I make without some serious consequence for failure is something I will not stick with. That is my history. I am well aware of it and there is no confusion about my past performance. I have learned that much at least.
That being said, here is where I think the majority of people go wrong:
Make resolutions you can achieve, that are within your total control.
For example, you don't control how much actual weight you can lose. That is mixed into so many variables. But you do control what you eat, how much you work out and you can stick to those variables because that is only up to you and simply something you just have to do, assuming you made it realistic in the first place.
Don't say I am going to lose 30 pounds in 2 months when you know that is not very likely and then discourage yourself on the front end, when you only get 15 pounds by week 7. My ultimate goal is to lose that weight, and I am confident if I stick to my plan, if I am resolute in my plan then I will get there. But I do that by making resolutions to do concrete things that I can easily stick to and do not depend on any variable that I don't have control over. I am setting myself up to succeed. Which brings me to my next point:
Most people who make New Years Resolutions know they are going to fail at them and make ones they are certain they will fail at.
I don't want to be that person. So I won't be. Not anymore. That being said here is my personal challenge.
It is well established that I will do just about anything to avoid anything to do with Justin Bieber. That is my benchmark for distaste.
I have set a program out for myself, that if I follow it will gain me very good results in my goal to get back into the physical shape I was a few years back. This is my resolution. To get back my physical shape. Losing weight is part of that, but not the actual resolution.
Being that I have a certain take on New Years Resolutions, here is my promise to myself.
If I don't stick with that plan, I will force myself to go to a concert of JB's this year, and I will also have to listen to every song in his catalog. Once a month for the entire remainder of 2013.
Now, I know full well in my mind what my true goals are, the ones that fall into the resolution category and the ones that fall into the aspirations category. I don't need to share those with you, because that doesn't matter. I will know if I don't honor those, and that is all that matters to me. You get to know the consequences I face if I don't. That matters because I can't fudge that if I fail myself. Yes, myself. I will be failing only myself if I don't follow through.
Here are my two ultimate goals, stated as resolutions. The specifics are not important to you, only to me, so I don't share them here.
I don't want to lose weight, I want to gain my shape back. I know what that looks like and I will know if I am there or not.
I don't want to gain success, I want to achieve my full potential. I know what that is, and I know what it means in terms of real terms.
So, have a happy new year, but keep in mind that unless you are very determined, and have a concrete plan of action, then you are going to have to be happy with how your life is now and that it wont change that much from how it was the previous year. Unless you are resolute in your determination to make it so. Just saying it wont get you anywhere.
Money talks, bullshit walks.
In this case, money has met mouth. It is time to put my money where my mouth is.
Is it that time for you as well?