We are now coming to that time of the year that REQUIRES we review our past and decide what to do about the future.  It is called making New Year’s Resolutions!  Because those of us who are concerned about our destiny will no doubt do this, let’s take a look at resolutions starting from the end and working backward.

Unfortunately, the end usually looks like not completing the goals or projects set out to do.  Going backward a little, can we decide at what time our energy and resolve started to slow down?  Was it a week? month?  or just a few hours? Now analyze why this happened.  Did you run out of energy? did you lose interest?  Did you just keep putting it off?

More importantly, what keep you from going forward?  Why wasn’t it important enough to work past the obstacle that you encountered?  You know how to do this.  You couldn’t have passed the Bar without knowing how to keep going in the face of tremendous obstacles.  Why were these resolutions less worthy of your strength than passing the Bar?   Was the reward not big enough?  Did you discount the value of the resolution after you set it?  Was the resolution too far out of your “comfort zone” to commit to?  Exactly what was the obstacle that you encountered?

The experts tell us that it take 23 to 27 days of consistently practicing a new skill or behavior  to change our long term habits.  There is a wonderful book called HABIT which goes into this in great depth.  The problem is that many of us have bad habits that we need to change as well as good habits that we need to add to our lives.  We all know what these are for each of us. List three of yours right now.

Take for instance the most common New Year’s Resolution……TO LOSE WEIGHT.  After filling ourselves with all the Holiday goodies, we are feeling guilty and the scale is definitely up.  So we go about making the resolution that we will lose 5,10 or even 15 pounds.  What comes next?  We know that dieting and exercise is the Golden Rule to weight loss but what about the Paleolithic  diet? or the Beverly Hills diet? or the carbo load diet?  Some of us can get distracted  right in the beginning by fooling ourselves that the resolution can be made easier.  Resolutions are not easy, that is why they are called resolutions.

So let’s say we do take the rational approach and plan out a realistic agenda of increased exercise and eating a better, low calorie diet.  We write this out and resolve that we will go to the gym three times a week and walk two days a week for 3 miles.  We decide to eat a good breakfast, a salad for lunch and meat or fish and vegetables for dinner.  We also added in some low calorie snacks, such as fruit, yogurt and nuts.

Next, we start with great enthusiasm.  We even write the exercise times down in our calendar.  The gym staff welcomes us back with open arms.  We feel virtuous when we have only a salad for lunch.  We are feeling better about ourselves………the scale even shows a slight decrease……then….AN AWFUL THING HAPPENS…..