First Quarter – New Year’s Resolution Reboot

We are approaching the end of the first quarter. How is your New Year’s resolution going for you? Usually, about this time, many resolutions have been abandoned and kicked to the curb. The good intentions have fallen by the wayside and people walk away as defeated as they were this time last year. However, a seemingly failed attempt at a change in behavior for self-improvement can be salvaged with persistence and the right perspective.

For example, health club attendance usually spikes at the beginning of each year.

People are usually well engaged, as measured by attendance in classes or in the workout facility. The first three weeks are filled with enthusiasm. However, this year the enthusiasm waned after the first week. What is going on? Why are people disenchanted and disengaged so quickly? Is this indicative of results in other areas where resolutions are generated? Are they becoming harder and harder to sustain? We need to think of a different way of approaching our resolutions to give them greater sustainability.

We need to look at New Year’s resolutions as is a promise; and we like to keep our word. We need to see our resolutions as a computer program that simply needs to be realigned. What is really required is a resolution reboot.

Additionally, we should not confine our performance into a tight time frame, but to see it as a work in progress. A resolution reboot is necessary and admissible as evidence of our long term commitment. It is permissible as a continuation of the implementation of your growth strategy. We will reboot as many times as necessary until the program is fully functioning and running smoothly.

We must see our resolution as a part of an overall plan. Included in this strategy is our propensity to stop and start until the task is completed. It is our nature to not necessarily get something right the first time.  We have a tendency to collect a series of false starts, a few glitches before we are running like a well oiled machine.

Don’t beat yourself up if the early returns on your performance against your goal are not successful. Humans have a history of persistence until we reach our objectives. From learning how to walk, talk, think and run, the beginning stages did not go as planned.

Many of our goals as defined and described are like New Year’s resolutions. They had a rough beginning, but eventually became a part of our daily routine. We must approach our current resolutions simply as goals with things need to work on.

When a computer is not acting according to plan or specifications, the manufacturer usually asks us to reboot the program to see if it corrects itself. Whenever I have a computer issue, invariably I am asked to turn off the equipment and reboot. The same happens when I have a problem with my cable service. I am asked to please turn off the system for 30 seconds and turn it on to allow it to reboot itself. Many times this corrects the problem, as if the machine knows what is appropriate and aligns itself with the proper behavior. There is something therapeutic about shutting yourself down, rethinking your position, recommitting yourself to the goal and reminding yourself what success looks like.

You may need to try the same procedures to restart your resolutions, while keeping your goal in mind.

The early stages of your New Year’s resolution should not be seen as a performance failure, but as a temporary setback to regroup and rededicate yourself. Even if you are one of those individuals who backed away from your exercise goals after the first week, the game is not over. Tell yourself that your discontinuation was expected. It is a part of your well-planned routine to keep you working on your resolution until you get it right.

With the remaining days in the month and year, stay dedicated to your resolution. You know it is needed and the right thing to do for your development.  View the early returns as data and make the necessary course corrections to get you back on track. What worked for you in the early stages?

I remember training for the marathon and following the Galloway method. He suggested continuing to move forward, even if you had to stop and walk, but eventually you will reach your goal. So get Ready – Recommit – React – Reboot.  Keep moving and each  successful step in the right direction will get you closer to your overall goal.

Copyright © 2017 Orlando Ceaser

 

New Year’s Resolutions – Take 13

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