Rejigging our new year’s resolutions

By Tami Bonnell, Co-Chair, EXIT Realty Corp. International

By February, 80% of people have abandoned their new year’s resolutions. I think there are two main reasons for this: 1) most people set a really big target instead of making small changes that end in big results over time, and 2) they set a target without planning their steps. But even before that, they’re often projecting ahead based on what they think other people want from them instead of what they truly want for themselves.

Let me give you an example.  I’ll ask people what they’d like to earn and how they’d like their year to look. They’ll tell me they want to earn $250,000 when really, they’d be thrilled making $60,000 because that will meet their needs while they’re taking care of kids and aging parents. For what’s going on in their world, that would be perfect, but they’re afraid it’s not what I want to hear, so they’ll tell me something different. As a result, they’re not invested in the goal, and they become disheartened.

Another example would be the difference between wanting to get healthy and wanting to lose weight. If I set a goal of wanting to have a healthy mind and a healthy body, that goal isn’t tied to my scale, it’s tied to how I feel. And so, if I start with the expectation of wanting to be healthier every day, then maybe I’ll eat a few more servings of vegetables, or I’ll put on my sneakers and go for a walk, or I’ll clear my head by going out in nature. Each one of these steps will gradually help make me healthier. My goal is not set in stone for anyone else; it’s what I want for myself, and I have a plan and action steps for sticking with it.   

And so, if we’re rejigging our new year’s resolutions and we want to be able to stick with them, we first have to decide if they’re in line with who and what we want in our life. What experiences do we want? How do we want to grow? Does the resolution serve who we are now or who we are becoming? As long as we’re growing and evolving and not stuck in anybody else’s expectations, we can become who we were put here to be and live an intentional, purposeful life.

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