Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Years Resolutions that do not Work

By Brandi M. Seals

Just about everyone I know makes a New Years resolution on December 31st, but it does not last long. Somehow every one's motivation seems to get zapped by March at the latest and good intentions go out the window.

I think New Years resolutions could work if the people who make them are serious about wanting to accomplish the goal. However, most people give up when they do not see a measurable difference. Or, they have made their resolution about someone else and soon learn that they cannot control someone else's behavior.

Which of these bad resolutions have you made in the past?

1.) I am going to make my kids behave better
While this is a great goal, it is not entirely realistic. You cannot control how another person behaves and are therefore doomed to fail. The only person you can control is yourself. Use that as your guide when it comes to making resolutions. I am not saying that you should let your children run amok or that there is no possible way of teaching them to behave appropriately. I am merely pointing out that your resolution should deal with you. Maybe you could do something like "I will set a better example for my children" or "I will punish my children when they do something wrong regardless of how cute they look. That way they will grow up knowing what is right and wrong."

When you set a resolution you need to give yourself guidance. If you only said you were going to make the kids behave better, you have not outlined how you are going to make that happen. Maybe you did that because you did not know what you needed to do to get the kids to behave better, but nothing is stopping you from finding out what you can do. If you do not know your role in something there is no way you can change things. Take a step back and see if you can figure out what you need to do on your own. If not, ask your spouse, parents, or a friend for their insight. Sometimes you are too close to something to see it objectively.

The other day I went downtown with my husband to look at the Christmas lights up around the Square. A little kid came tearing through, running along a ledge. When we got closer to where his mother was standing it became obvious that she wanted him to stop but all she said was "Stop! Come down here right now. Oh well…"

That seems to be the problem now days. I see many parents who refuse to put their foot down and their kids are getting away with disobeying. I could talk about what would have happened in this situation when I was little, but I will spare you. All I mean to point out is that this mom is allowing her child to misbehave. She acts like she has no ability to stop the child, but she does. She just needs to take control. Maybe she does not realize that she has that power since she is too close to the situation.

2.) I am going to lose all this extra pregnancy weight
After the baby is born, sometimes that pregnancy weight likes to hang around. If your resolution is to get rid of the added weight, that is great. But, you need to be a lot more specific than "I am going to lose all this extra pregnancy weight" if you want to accomplish that goal.

Let's say you have 20 pounds to lose. If you do not outline your plan of attack or even break down your goal into smaller goals, chances are you will end up feeling defeated. Stop that by rephrasing the resolution. Say "I will only eat out one night a month. I will not drink pop. And, I will walk at least 20 minutes everyday." Now it sounds like you have a game plan. Add in goals, like "I will lose two pounds in a week" or "I will lose 6 pounds this month." Make goals that are obtainable. You will be happy and excited when you meet those goals and it will help keep your spirits and moral up so that you can finish out the whole 20 pounds.

There are countless more examples I could give but the main point is to be specific and to set obtainable goals. Good luck.

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