Keeping your New Year’s Resolution

by C.J. McClanahan - December 15th, 2012

For about 5 straight years, I made the same New Year’s resolution – stop cursing while watching sports. Then, on January 1st, I would inevitably break this resolution when a football team I am rooting for (typically the Huskers) does something that displeases me (typically missing an easy tackle).

Year after year, it’s always the same. I start off with the best of intentions, recognizing that there is no need to get so worked up over a sporting event.

I bet you have the same problem. Every year you tell yourself that, this is the year I am going to sell more, lose weight, visit my parents, read, stop cursing, etc. And my unscientific study indicates that by the first week in February, you have already broken your resolution.

The obvious question is “why”? While there are certainly many good excuses, I now believe that the reason that most don’t change their behavior is that they have yet to make a meaningful emotional connection with the necessary change.

In other words, you really don’t care if you change because the pain of continuing the current behavior isn’t great enough. Nor is the reward for the change. For example, if I came home from work one day and my wife told me that one of our children had been disciplined because they had cursed in class, maybe I would actually stop cursing at football games (at least around the kids).

If you really want to change your behavior you need to get crystal clear about “why” the change is important to you. If your “why” is emotionally meaningful, you will change. If not, I would recommend that you cancel the gym membership.

C.J. McClanahan
Reachmore Strategies
317-576-8492
cjm@goreachmore.com

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