So how are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? Just one month into the new year, it is interesting to see how advertising reflects our annual desire to improve our lives.
“I went from a size 24 to a size 2!” exclaimed the happy lady staring back at me from the TV.
Gee, I thought, what part of her body did she have amputated since Christmas? I started to reflect on the goals I had so energetically set for myself just some 20 days earlier.
What I found was about what I always find—I was off to a generally good start, punctuated with periods of “not so great.” It is easy to be unrealistic when we are trying to make changes in any part of our lives.
Just look at all the empty gyms in March. Many who resolved to get into shape this year brought unrealistic expectations with them, making it all too easy to give up when it became clear that losing weight and getting physically healthy is a process, not a date circled on the calendar.
I have a book called, “Inside the Best Sellers.” It tells the stories of famous writers’ early rejections at having their work published. Jack Canfield’s inspirational series that began with, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was initially turned down by more than 30 publishers for being too “nicey-nice.” The books have gone on to sell millions of copies, delivering much needed inspiration to readers around the world.
What if Jack Canfield have given up after the first 29 rejections?
Whether you have decided to lose weight, quit smoking, or take up a new hobby this year, the key thing to remember is persistence. None of us is perfect and anytime we set a new goal, it is normal to expect both great triumphs and setbacks. The question is, what will you do when reaching your goal seems harder than you first thought?
It has been said that the only true failure is in not getting up once you have been knocked down. When assessing your progress at making any change, it is important to recognize each and every step you have taken that has been positive and moved you toward your goal.
So you’re not where you thought you would be right now? It’s okay, because you get to try again tomorrow. Recognize you are human and give yourself credit for even trying to improve your life. Be patient and gentle with yourself when you fall short. All those times of disappointment will only make it sweeter when you reach your goal.
As you move into the second month of a new year, it’s a good time to evaluate both where you are and where you want to be. Enjoy the process of change. When it comes to making lasting and positive changes, the formula is really simple – decide, commit, succeed.
And always, always get back up!