Small Steps Help Us Lose the Butt... In Our Resolutions

My resolution has to be bigger than my "yabutt." Too often I would resolve to make important changes, only to have a yabutt negate my ability to successfully complete the resolution.
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It's January and the resolution season is upon us. I was listening to one of our local radio stations on my way to work the other day, and the DJs were bantering back and forth about their New Year's resolutions. As they chatted, they discussed random resolution statistics. Apparently 90 percent of the almost 200 million resolution-makers across North America -- me included -- are about to endure their first failures of the new year. Ouch! I thought. That's a tough reality to swallow. And so I began to wonder why we humans are so prone to fail at the things we know we should do to improve our lives. I mean, if we know we could or should be better in one aspect or another, and we say we're going to focus on being better, why are most of us unable to succeed at what we set out to achieve?

Well, I'm no psychologist or trained strategist, but I've had a few setbacks myself over the years in achieving my resolutions. I started thinking about the reasons for my failures, and a few simple ideas came to mind. I'll share them with you and heck, who knows, maybe we can be more successful in fulfilling our resolutions, and avoid being included in the list of unsuccessful resolutionaries, this year and in the future.

One of the first things that came to mind was that some years, I attempted to take on too many resolutions at one time. You know the adage, "sometimes less is more"? Well, I've found that this is true for me more often than not, particularly when I choose my resolutions for the coming year. My greatest resolutionary success comes in the years when I focus on only one or two specific aspects of my life at a time. I've decided to live by the "less is more" adage, and I believe that's one of the reasons why I'm finding more success in my life.

A second aspect to the concept of "less is more" is that focusing on fewer resolutions allows me to focus on bigger resolutions in my life. Less is more. The bigger the resolution I can take on, the greater the impact being successful will have.

Third, my resolution has to be bigger than my "yabutt." Too often I would resolve to make important changes, only to have a yabutt negate my ability to successfully complete the resolution. For example, I'd say, "I need to get into better shape," and I'd start out great guns on a path to that end -- but then I'd start feeling aches and pains and I'd slow down my workouts, and then I'd have a meal out here and a dessert there, and in the end I'd say to myself, "I want to get into better shape -- but I hate the soreness, and I don't want to miss out on the meals out and the desserts." And so my butt would continue to stay the same, or grow.

And finally, my fourth realization over the years has been that, unless I document my resolutions by writing them down or sharing them with someone close -- an accountability friend -- it's likely I won't succeed long-term in achieving the resolutions I've set out for myself. If my resolutions aren't important enough for me to write them down or to include an accountability friend in the process, then my reason for making the resolution really isn't strong enough to allow me to be successful.

And so... off I go into the 2013 resolution season -- along with some 200 million others. I've got two specific goals for myself this year, two specific resolutions written down and my accountability friend on board. I'm excited about the year ahead and I'm feeling confident that I'm going to be successful.

All the best to each of you in this new year. I really hope that you can avoid the yabutts in your resolutions and that 2013 is the best year you could have ever imagined.

Tom Watson
Owner, Your Better Life

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