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Crystal Salt

New Year's Resolution or Resolve?

New Year’s is upon us and the topic du jour in leadership lit is resolutions.  Why we don’t keep them.  How to keep them.  Why they don’t work.  The one resolution that works.

Rather than add to the pile I simply want to make a pitch for more resolve as a way to move toward and through important changes you are considering (at any time of the year). The difference between resolution and resolve is subtle but important. This answer to a grammar question helps tease them apart:

I use resolve to describe my own unshakable commitment or that of others. I am speaking of the noun here, especially in the present tense. “He shows unwavering resolve to end sentences with prepositions, so that his intentions will not be mixed up.” Moving ahead to the past tense, I might say resolution to convey the same meaning, but it also carries a sense of decision making. “She made a resolution to eschew political correctitude and to communicate directly, clearly and forcefully.” 

Resolve – my own unshakable commitment. Resolution: a decision to commit.

While indeed subtle, the author positions resolve as happening in the present and resolution as in the the wished-for future. There is where the former towers over the latter. To get things done we must stay present and continue to take action. 

We are awash in lists. Our Netflix choices, Facebook posts, bank accounts. New Year’s resolutions usually end up as a list, soon placed in that desk drawer we don’t get to all that often; or we find a shiny new app, that we fill in with hope and excitement on or around January 1, look at a few times a day through January 15 and ignore around February 1 declaring, “There is always next year.” 

List making is quick and easy. It is a low risk investment in a wished-for future. Scratch out a few headlines: Lose weight; Read more; Learn that new skill; Get after that promotion. Most stop there. If you really wish to get to and through all the necessary change and end up weighing less, reading more and get your promotion, you first need resolve to dig in to first discover and then add all necessary steps under each headline.

Those are the actual steps that define your path of action. The best use of resolve - that UNSHAKABLE commitment – comes after, when gratification is not instant and the low risk headline written in December begins to change and your like, “Whoa!! I didn’t bargain for this!”

Maybe your list is too neat and organized. It lulls you into thinking that the path of change is similar. Try doing resolutions as a mindmap so you can visualize your path as being anything but orderly.

Next, make a list that completes the following statement for each resolution: If I _______________ (insert change action), I will _________________(insert as many outcomes as you can envision).  Studies have shown that time spent visualizing your future outcome leads to great chances for attaining your goals.

Another list to make is all you don’t know about the change you are seeking. If you are going to lose 20 pounds maybe you need to learn about counting calories, or research the right diet, or balancing nutrients. Discovering unknowns and moving them into knowns are vital. Also important: Do not let that research be an excuse to delay getting started – incorporate learning along the way into your action plan.

Don’t forget FUN! Many reading this article will think, “This doesn’t sound like fun!” Try meeting yourself halfway. Think, “How far can I stretch and still keep this enjoyable and motivating?”

So what about resolve? That is one list you need – what actions will you take when you meet an unexpected challenge, when it seems like you are not making progress, when it stops being bright, shiny and fun! Having resolve, an unshakable commitment, will carry you way past February 1 and hopefully fully toward the meaningful change you seek. One dividend: The resolve you develop will be available for all future challenges you may seek or have thrust upon you, like this guy.

Click here if you would like a free guide to setting and tracking all that you would like to attain in your life. Happy New Year!

1 comentario

29 dic 2023

Among my GOALS (Resolutions) for 2024 Have fun every day Keep in touch travel when possible learn, re-learn, unlearn many things: especially what has changed in/with the various technologies I use daily: T-Mobile Samsung phone, new MacBook Air laptop, Facebook,... Help people when I can

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