The old-fashioned but still conventional New Year’s resolution is just as popular as ever. So, what’s your flavour?
For something so stigmatised it’s still relevant. It’s because it’s a logical point in time for change. It’s a far enough time away to aim for. As each long year closes it brings a mix of reflection, frustration, fatigue and hope for the future. There is a natural want of ‘out with the old; in with the new’.
If you’re the average person you’ve probably had mixed results with your New Year’s resolutions. Some have worked and others haven’t. In other words, the resolve stuck in the former cases, but resolve was difficult to sustain on the latter occasions.
And this is the point. A resolution is a resolve to do something; in this case, something different. Change is only hard because new habits are being formed which aren’t yet natural, and old entrenched habits (which aren’t yet unnatural) are being resisted.
A Want of Resolve
Change can only occur when there’s enough resolve—when there’s a vision for what is wanted, sufficient dissatisfaction with the status quo, and where there’s a process to get to the new, better place.
Creating a vision for ‘who’ we want to be or what change we desire is paramount. This is the dream that with the two below will ensure reality is a possibility. The more inspirational and visually rich our vision is, the more powerfully we can effect our change.
This is the motive and intent driving the change. When we become sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we’re really had enough, that’s when we’ll make bold-enough steps to surpass the temptations that will bring us back into the field.
Dissatisfaction is a most important weapon of intrinsic motivation. It’s us that is dissatisfied and no one else. Nobody else’s dissatisfaction can supplant ours if change is going to stick. It has to be ours and ours alone.
Proverbs 29:18 (NRSV) says, “Where there is no prophesy, the people cast off restraint.” No plan is a plan to fail. For any successful venture there has to be a way of getting there that’s well thought out; one that wards against the pitfalls that will almost certainly bear their teeth, usually at the least expected moment.
With sufficient dissatisfaction, a vision for something better, and a process to get us there, nothing’s out of the realms of possibility this New Year (or anytime).
We are rulers of our destinies regarding change. It’s only us who can do it. One day at a time, re-resolve and manage the resolve to continue the good track that’s now establishing itself.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.