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The New Year’s Resolution of All Resolutions

December 27, 2019| By

Just as many will raise a glass of bubbly on New Year’s Eve and toast to a good year had and hope for a good following year, many are also making New Year’s resolutions.  The problem with resolutions is they’re like what Mary Poppins said in the movie of the same name — “They’re pie crust promises.  Easily made, easily broken.”

Let’s face it.  Resolutions are more wishful thinking than anything else.  We do it at the beginning of the year, feeling like this will be a fresh new start and what better time than January 1st.  There’s hope in the air that whatever you felt didn’t go well this last year will now be fixed in the coming year if only we put more effort in.

I hate to see you set yourself up for a failure one more time.  Unless you make some change in how you go about making that resolution a reality, you’ll be saying the same thing again come December 31 of next year.

The Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions

What do you think are the top ten resolutions people make at the beginning of any year?  (Interestingly, these don’t change from year to year.)

  1. Eat healthier
  2. Lose weight
  3. Exercise more
  4. Get organized
  5. Save more and spend less
  6. Learn a new skill or hobby
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Spend more time with family and friends
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that while those who had made resolutions had higher rates of success than nonresolvers (which is kind of obvious since these guys weren’t even trying), only 46% of those resolvers had maintained whatever changes they had made.  That means  more than half of the people who had made New Year’s resolutions failed.  Now you know why the top ten list never changes from year to year.

Then you must be asking yourself if there is any hope.  Yes there is!

Use the Z-Pattern of Decision-Making

All of our actions and behaviors are based on decisions we make.  Look at the top ten list again and tell me if you see any of those resolutions that don’t require a decision.  If you want to eat healthier, you have to decide what it is you’re going to eat.  If you want to lose weight, you have to decide how you’re going to make that happen (which, coincidently, involves two resolutions: eat healthier and exercise more).

If you had been making good decisions all during the year, you wouldn’t have to resolve to make changes for the coming year.

The Z-Pattern of Decision-Making is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®).  The MBTI® identifies a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences.  If you are familiar with the MBTI® and know your type, you’ve got a leg up.  If you don’t know your type, take my FREE personality quiz.  Maybe even watch my video to learn more about type.  Also, I discuss the Z-Pattern in great depth in my latest book, Intuitive Living.

The Z-Pattern is a 4-step approach to making that resolution a reality.

  1. Collect as much data and information as you can regarding the resolution.
  2. Consider the consequences of what that resolution will bring if accomplished or not accomplished.
  3. Think about the pros and cons of how you need to accomplish it.
  4. Put your stamp of approval on what you feel is the best approach.

Let’s take one of the resolutions from the list and show how this Z-Pattern would work.  I’ll choose the first one: resolve to eat healthier this coming year.  For this example, I’ll just give three thoughts per step.  But understand that there is much more you could probably consider when you have the opportunity to use the Z-Pattern.

Step 1: Collect the data and information

You say you want to eat healthier this year.  That means that every time you have an eating opportunity, you need to stop and consider:

  1. What is a healthy food?
  2. What food is available?
  3. How much am I going to eat of this food? (This requires you be mindful and aware of just how hungry you are and just how full you are once you start eating.)

Step 2: The possible consequences of eating healthier

  1. You could potentially decrease your risk of the various diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancer).
  2. You could retrain your brain and taste buds to enjoy foods that are less salty, less fatty, less sweet.
  3. You may have to cut back on eating your favorite, less-than-healthy foods. (Notice I didn’t say you had to eliminate them.)

Step 3: The pros and cons of eating healthier

  1. Your medical bills and doctor visits may decrease because of eating better.
  2. It may cost you a little bit more for your food choices (since we know that unhealthier foods tend to be less expensive; example, fast food).  Yet, medical bills are far more expensive.  Save on those and you have plenty for buying healthy food (and that doesn’t mean it has to be organic).
  3. You become a role model for those around you.

Step 4:  Your feelings about all of this

  1. If you don’t succumb to one of the deadly diseases, you’ll be around longer for your family and friends and to enjoy more of what life has to offer.
  2. Your friends may actually be envious of your willingness to make changes and your actions convince them to try it themselves.
  3. You are willing to eat healthier foods, but still know that your favorite foods (most people’s favorite foods tend not to be so healthy) can be decided upon when the occasion occurs to have them. They are not forbidden.

Your Decision? 

If I were having to make the decision, after weighing all of the above, I would choose to eat healthier and reap the health rewards (and maybe even the accolades of family and friends).

However, in the end, it isn’t my decision to make for you.  That is the beauty of the Z-Pattern of living.  You’re in control.  You don’t need to be following someone’s rules of living when you can make them yourself in a way that is comfortable for your personality type and your life.  Your rules.  Your way.

You Have to Be Mindful

In order to make those resolutions a reality, you can’t live on auto-pilot.  Each of your actions requires a decision.  There will come a time that living healthier becomes a part of you.  For example, your dentist has told you to floss every night.  As you stand at the bathroom counter ready to pick up your toothbrush, you have to make a decision about flossing that night.  Once you decide to do it the first night, then the second, the third, and so on, you’ll actually miss the cleaner feel in your mouth.  At some point, you no longer have to consciously make the decision.  Done!  The behavior is a part of you.

The same thing will be true for all decisions you make.  Trust me!

Happy New Year!

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