Babylonians. That’s who we have to thank for New Year’s Resolutions. But they didn’t do it to eat better or join a gym. Their commitment was to return borrowed objects and repay debts to their gods.
And, they aren’t the only ones to use the New Year as a time of new beginnings. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god, Janus (for whom January is named) and medieval knights ended the Christmas season with a re-commitment to chivalry.
“Every human mind is a great slumbering power until awakened by keen desire and by definite resolution to do.” – Edgar F. Roberts
It’s important to note that there is a big difference between a resolution and a goal.
Goal vs. Resolution
A resolution, by definition, is a firm decision to do or not to do something. A goal, on the other hand, is a desire. It is the aim of your intentions and something you work toward. A goal can (and typically does) mean failure along the way, but re-commitment to a goal doesn’t feel monumental.
It’s reasonable then to consider that we abandon our New Year’s “resolutions” because we’ve trained ourselves to see it as a failure, inability or shortcoming to commit; rather than a goal that can still be achieved even if we slip every once in a while or don’t make immediate progress. Weight loss, eating better, working out, debt repayment, smoking cessation, being more positive, and getting a (better) job are all great examples of typical “resolutions” that we tend to abandon shortly into the New Year, primarily because we feel we’ve already failed. When, in fact, these are goals that should be renewed daily.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the New Year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think it’s easier said than done? Not if you have the right Mindset.
There’s a reason we emphasize the concept of Mindset so much at CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. That’s because you must have a full understanding of how to accomplish a goal and what it requires before you can do so. Simply saying, “I’m going to lose 25 pounds this year” is a wonderful goal, but how far do you think you’re going to get if you don’t approach that goal with an understanding of what it takes to achieve it and a logical plan?
You can achieve any goal with the right mindset and that begins with the following daily activities:
+ Visualize your perfect day. Imagine yourself easily dealing with any unexpected challenges.
+ Set a goal to accomplish within your challenge and write it down (i.e., “resolution”).
+ Take ﬁve minutes to pause, notice, reflect, and adjust on your personal actions.
+ Visualize yourself achieving the goal you set for your challenge.
+ Write down one thing you’re grateful for and share it with a friend or family member.
+ Take three deep belly breaths at least three times throughout the day.
This may sound overly simple, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference some focused breathing and planning can have on your ability to achieve goals—of the daily and annual variations.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
In partnership with EXOS, a world leader in human performance and the management company for CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.