The Key Difference Between Resolutions and Resolve

Millions of Americans made New Year’s Resolutions this week. Most of them will fail. In fact, 25% of people bail on their resolutions after just one week. Are you one of them? All of those good intentions to make improvements in your health, family, or career…do they actually work? Research shows that less than 8% of us are successful by the end of the year.

Don’t be discouraged by this dismal statistic. Many well-intentioned people simply don’t have the tools or knowledge to make their resolutions stick and accomplish their goals.

Do you want to make this year different by turning your resolutions into habits and lasting change? You can. The key is understanding the subtle difference between a resolution and resolve.

RESOLUTION is defined as a decision to do or not do something.

RESOLVE is defined as firm determination to do something.

Notice the difference? One is wishful thinking. A fleeting moment in time. The other involves ongoing action with a fixed purpose. A dedication to the process.

Anyone can make a resolution. Not everyone has resolve.

Here are four ways to improve your resolve and achieve your goals:

1. Design SMART goals. Things like “exercise more” and “increase sales” aren’t going to get you the results you want. A SMART goal is:

Specific. You can’t measure success if your goal is vague. “Pay $3,000 down on my credit card balance” is specific. “Reduce debt” is not.

Meaningful. In order to maintain resolve, your goal needs to compel you to stay dedicated on the days you don’t feel like it. Meaningful goals are not boring. They stimulate you intellectually, move you spiritually, challenge you physically, and energize you emotionally.

Achievable. Goals should stretch you, and get you out of your comfort zone. At the same time, they should be realistic. A dream of mine might be to play on the LPGA. I’m much more likely to shave 5 strokes off my handicap this year.

Relevant. Your goals need to be tied to your core values and “burning why.” Are they aligned with who you are? Do they follow the mission and vision of your organization?

Time-bound. Your goal needs a timeframe. Deadlines keep you focused and motivated. “Lose weight” is a vague resolution. “Lose 20 pounds by June 1” is a SMART goal.

2. Write down your goals. You are three times more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down, and make them visible. Display them somewhere you see them daily.

3. Stay outcome driven, and process focused. Let the desired result drive you, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Focus on the next right step. If you look at the entire action plan required to meet your goal, you can get bogged down in analysis paralysis. You can’t eat an elephant in one day. You do it in bite-sized chunks.

4. Celebrate milestones. You won’t accomplish the change you want to make in your life overnight. Improvement worth making requires endurance and dedication. You may get discouraged along the way and be tempted to quit. Don’t wait until you reach the end goal to celebrate success. Revel in the small victories along the way. Want to lose 20 pounds? Throw a party when you’ve shed the first five.

Don’t make useless resolutions you won’t keep this year. Instead, develop a firm determination to make lasting changes in your life.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, and the resolve to reach your goals!

 
 

The Difference Between a Resolution and Resolve

Millions of Americans made New Year’s Resolutions this week. Most are related to improvements in health, family, career, or personal growth. Does the tradition of setting out to make positive change this way work? Research shows that less than 8% of us are actually successful.

2015

Don’t be discouraged by this dismal statistic.

Do you want to make this year different by turning your resolutions into habits and lasting change? You can. The key is understanding the subtle difference between a resolution and resolve.

RESOLUTION is defined as a decision to do or not to do something.

RESOLVE is defined as firm determination to do something.

Notice the difference? One is wishful thinking. A fleeting moment in time. The other involves ongoing action with a fixed purpose.

Anyone can make a resolution. Not everyone has resolve.

How do you get it? Some people are born with it, but resolve can be learned. Here are four ways to improve your resolve:

  1. Make a plan. It’s easy to think of a resolution, but it requires time and deliberation to craft a plan. The process of getting to the goal is critical. Write it down, step by step. Be specific. Include details about what you need to do to get there.
  2. Secure an accountability partner. Research shows this is key. Want to exercise more? Find a friend who has the same goal and hold each other accountable. Check in weekly to see how it’s going.
  3. Set reminders. You’ve set a plan and have a partner in crime. But old habits die hard. It takes a while to get into the swing of things and make lasting changes. Your plan includes detailed actions. Put them on your calendar. Set alerts on your phone. Dust off your sticky notes.
  4. Celebrate milestones. You won’t accomplish the change you want to make in your life overnight. Improvement worth making requires endurance. You may get discouraged along the way and be tempted to quit. Don’t wait until you reach the end goal to celebrate ultimate success. Revel in the small victories along the way. Want to lose 20 pounds? Throw a party when you’ve shed the first five.

Don’t make useless resolutions you won’t keep this year. Instead, find the resolve to make lasting changes in your life.

Wishing you a Happy New Year, full of abiding love, friendship and joy!

 
 

The One Thing Your Children Need to Hear

Do you love your children? The majority of parents would respond with a resounding yes. A large percentage claim to love their kids unconditionally and want them to know it. But throughout my experience coaching, teaching, and volunteering in schools I have seen too many kids tie their self-worth to individual performance.

Deep down in their hearts, they feel the following pressure:

My parents will love me LESS if I…

  • Miss the shot
  • Fail this test
  • Don’t try my best
  • Get caught in a lie
  • Wake up in a bad mood

My parents will love me MORE if I…

  • Score the most points
  • Make good grades
  • Have lots of friends
  • Obey all the time
  • Never fail at anything

Growing up in today’s pressure-to-perform culture, most children feel this way. But you can change it with these simple words.

I love you the same no matter what you do.

[Read more…]

 
 

The Importance of Engaging Your Core

My fitness instructor is constantly reminding me to engage my core. She interjects during lunges, curls, and pushups. No matter the exercise, your core muscles must be engaged. The central part of the body is essential for everything else to function properly and to maximize performance. In Alli’s own words,

“It’s all about the core!”

This is not only true for athletes. It’s true in life.

The word core is defined as: the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything.

In other words, your core is who you are, deep down.

Have you been through times in life when you let your core get soft and didn’t feel like yourself? You lost sight of who you are and disengaged from the important things? It happens to everyone. Some common reasons people go through this type of slump include:

  • A career change
  • Baby blues
  • Transition to a new city
  • Death of a loved one
  • A serious illness

Major life changes can wreak havok on your sense of self. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of adjusting to your new circumstances, and forget to take care of who you are.

There are several avenues back to your core. A good way to start engaging again is this: Think of an activity that reminds you exactly who you were before you fell into a funk. The activity itself doesn’t define who you are, but participating in it makes you feel invigorated.

A core-engaging activity can be anything that makes you feel like yourself again. It’s something you love doing, utilizing your skills or passions. It makes you feel alive. Maybe it’s a sport, hobby, or volunteer position. Or simple as a walk on your favorite trail.

In the winter of 2011, I was not feeling like myself. A cross-country move, two babies, and a major career change had taken their toll. I was spiraling further down into the dumps. A gray storm cloud followed me overhead like a grouchy cartoon character.

One afternoon I saw my health club was advertising tryouts for a men’s basketball league. There aren’t many non-WNBA women my age who want to play organized basketball, so the men’s league sounded like a good option. I arrived at the tryout and was welcomed with a barrage of questions.

“You do know this is a men’s league, right?”

“Here to cheer on your husband?”

“Did someone say you could tryout? We’ve never had a girl play before.”

We played a half court game of 3-on-3 while the league captains observed. On my team were a guy in his 50’s and a 21 year old who could jump through the roof. We scored 20 points in five minutes.

After the tryout, the guy in charge of the league drafted me on his team.

Every Sunday night that winter, I laced up my shoes and engaged my core. I played the sport I love most and talked some friendly trash. Basketball doesn’t define who I am. But it was a huge part of my life for over a decade.

Playing ball again in an organized setting reminded me of something important. While I love being a wife, mother, and folding massive amounts of laundry, the core of who I am hasn’t changed. I’m still competitive, athletic, and love encouraging my teammates. I get back up when I fall down. I handle myself with grace and sportsmanship when others don’t. I know how to have fun. I can laugh at myself.

I had forgotten most of those things. And it was time to apply them to my current roles in life. It’s important to get back to your core.

By the way, the team with the girl on the roster? They won the league championship.

Question: Do you need to get back to your core? What steps can you take to engage it again?