Around this time of year, people seem to focus on making their New Year’s resolutions; they want their “reset” for a new, different or better future.
Maybe to lose weight, stop smoking, save money, find a better job or spend more time with family. All lofty goals, but why do we need a New Year’s resolution to make these changes, and why do we need to commit to create new habits?
We all want a second chance, to somehow correct the mistakes of the past or fulfill the dreams not yet achieved.
Setting New Year’s resolutions allows us to exercise the virtue of aspiring to a goal and following through on it, having a sense of control over the events in our life.
When we set a resolution and begin acting on it, we feel both reward and pleasure, hope and aspiration. Our dopamine levels are high as we set out to accomplish these lofty resolutions.
Dopamine helps regulate emotional responses.
Eventually though the level of dopamine drops as our effort and focus on these New Year’s resolutions dwindles.
Without a plan, reinforcing effort to create new habits and a structure to keep us motivated, we repeat the failed behavior of the past, doubting ourselves and eventually reverting back to old habits.
And when we revert back to these old habits, we face one of the biggest obstacles, self-criticism, which doesn’t actually fortify us.
The question then is, how can we keep our resolutions?
- Seek support from others, friends and family. Make them advocates for your goals and spend time with those who cheer you on.
- Reward yourself by setting short-term goals, be creative, give yourself acknowledgement for effort as well as results. Reward yourself when you do the things you want to accomplish the most.
- You can only do what you can do. At the end of each day, forgive yourself, let that day go, do something different the next day. The great thing about starting a diet is you can’t fail; you always can start over in the morning. It’s a reoccurring goal that you can always pick up. At the end of the day, forgive yourself and start over tomorrow.
I just gave you three tips for creating your own 2022 New Year’s resolution. Now let’s think about the new world we’ll be working in next year.
In this new work-from-home reality, here are some resolutions about a few of the things that help and hurt us the most, with a touch of levity.
- Pay off my credit cards in full every month in full - using my other credit cards.
- Save some money for a rainy day. That way, when it rains, I can shop online instead of having to go to an actual store.
- Keep better records throughout the year. That way, I can listen to better music while I'm figuring out my taxes.
- Look for investors for my "home office" business.
- Lower my bills by digging a hole to put them in.
- Avoid getting a divorce by practicing polygamy.
- Borrow things more often. Return them less often.
- Visit the grocery more frequently than restaurants, especially when free samples are being served.
- Buy a fire extinguisher — so my money won't burn a hole in my pocket.
- Stop throwing away money that could at least be burned for heat.
“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” - Bill Vaughan
Lloyd Lofton is the founder of Power Behind the Sales. He is the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections, voted 1 of the 11 Best New Presentation Books To Read in 2020 by BookAuthority. Lloyd may be contacted at [email protected].
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