Friday, January 2, 2009

resolution practicum

New Years resolutions [practical help]

1. Be un-realistic. The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal attainable in your own strength. You should make a habit of anticipating and attaining the impossible ONLY through the help of God and His strength. Any resolution that is done without deep dependance on God is an investment in pride and vanity. A resolution is not a one time choice but the choice of repitition and habit, and the 1st habit is always to be closer to God in all things we do.

2. Plan ahead. Don't make your resolution on New Year's Eve, but let the whole month of January be a time for reflection and adjustment. If you wait until the last minute or do it suddenly or reactively, it will be based on your mindset, guilty feelings, or passions of that particular day. Instead, it should be an ongoing process bathed in prayer and with the input of those around you that love you. Put everything into a calendar like google-calendar and then ruthlessly and relentlessly aim in that direction.

3. Outline your plan. Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your bad habit affects yourself, others, and God. Try to replace vices with corresponding virtues. Aiming at NOT doing something is not as effective as aiming TO do something.

4. Make a "vision" and "consequences" list. It helps to visualize what life would be like 3 months, or a year down the line with these changes firmly in place. Also look at the consequences of not doing this and allow those negatives to be part of your motivation.

5. Talk about it. Don't keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends, your spiritual family and others who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your New Year's resolution and motivate each other.

6. Reward yourself. This doesn't mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you've been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, perhaps your reward could be going to a movie with a friend.
Track your progressKeep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, say, focus on losing that first 5.

7. Don't beat yourself up. Obsessing over the occasional slip won't help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take each day one at a time. Let the Holy Spirit coach you. His desire is not to just point out faults, but to be a friend who comes alongside with encouragement, wisdom, and strength for the journey of life.

8. Stick to it. Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Your new healthful habits will become second-nature in no time.

9. Keep trying. If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don't despair. Start over again! There's no reason you can't make a "New Year's resolution" any time of year.

10. Cynicism is pessimistic cowardice. Being a victim [of yourself, others, or circumstances] is the quickest way to negativity, passivity, and self-destruction. People who remain vigilant, laughing, crying, and fully engaged in a responsible resolution move forward and see change. Be tough minded and strong hearted! Your enemy [Satan] prowls around seeking to devour us into his pessimism and pride.

Fast Facts About New Year's Resolutions
63% of people say they are keeping their resolutions after two months
67% of people make three or more resolutions

Top four resolutions:
Increase exercise
Be more conscientious about work or school
Develop better eating habits
Stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs (including caffeine)
People make more resolutions to start a new habit than to break an old one.



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