New Year’s resolutions are an annual rite for millions of people around the world. We approach them with the regularity of the calendar change. Many people optimistically tackle the most important challenges of their lives and hope that the New Year will finally lead to a different result. Conversely, many people have abandoned resolutions or speak of them with apprehension and skepticism. This jaundiced view is due to the fact that historically they have been unsuccessful. This may have been due to entering the activities with insincere effort or expecting to fail.
Despite our history, we create newer versions of our resolutions. We stand optimistic, masochistic or realistic about our chances of success. One thing is assured; we know the first of the year is a great time to start a new objective, because we have a clean slate. It is a new week, a new month and a new year.
Truthfully speaking, we keep some resolutions longer than others. Some actually make it well into the New Year before fizzing out. We feel comfortable, experience some measure of success, but revert to former bad habits. This modicum of success keeps us addicted to the resolution process. Premature evacuation and abandonment of our effort dooms us to failure. Suppose we try an alternative method based on changing our perspective.
We watch movies and have seen out takes, bloopers and retakes. We know that movies differ from plays because in a movie or commercial, they can stop the action and repeat the scene. However, in a play the actor can improvise and keep moving. The audience may not notice the error. In a movie/ commercial, you will hear the director say, “Action” and scene begins. The director says “Cut” when the scene is not going according to plan. If there is a mistake, they can;
- Provide immediate feedback
- Give the actor the missing information, i.e. the lines they forgot r the emotion they want to see performed a certain way
- Offer support and encouragement by challenging the actor to stay focused and review their character’s motivation
- Start the retake in a timely manner. The director doesn’t say, “I don’t like that, let’s do it over next year.”
What if we used the same director’s approach with our resolutions? We could set up the resolution, knowing the result we want to achieve; allow it to run and when we make a mistake, instead of abandoning the project, we should take it from the top and start over. We would finish more goals and achieve better results if we adopted the “do it over until we get it right mentality.” We tend to regard resolutions as disposal entities, instead of a work in progress. This level of dedication and persistence to the resolutions will enable us to reach our goals.
I am encouraged by the number of people who flock to the health clubs the first week of January. Obviously they made resolutions regarding health and well-being. They have a workout goal linked to better health, losing weight or fitting into certain clothing before spring. This is very apparent in my spin classes at the health club. Many people with good intentions; give up quickly; judging by their disappearance after only a few short sessions. But others view it as a movie and experience as many retakes as necessary to reach their goal.
As you approach the New Year, let’s use the director’s technique to resolutions. Roll the tape, Action! Cut! But next time don’t stop until we have the finished project. Take as many retakes as possible to make our resolutions, a reality. We have the time, so just tweak our perspectives and motivation and make our 2013 resolutions a successful entry into our life practices.
Copyright © 2012 Orlando Ceaser