A New Year’s Resolution Before Thanksgiving?!

I’m not suggesting that you make a New Year’s resolution before gathering for the annual turkey feast, but there's an upside to thinking about it...

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Research has found that slightly less than half of us (40 to 45%) make one or more New Year’s resolutions, but the stats on how many of us actually stick with them range from an unremarkable 46% to a mere 10%. So why bother, you may ask. Because making a New Year’s resolution is an opportunity to achieve a much-desired goal.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you make a New Year’s resolution before gathering for the annual turkey feast. But coming down the home stretch of my 2010 New Year’s Resolution (get to a healthy weight which meant dropping 44.5 pounds! I’ve just  3.3 more to go!), got me thinking about the process of making resolutions. And trust me, it’s not too soon to start thinking about a 2011 goal.

The season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is a whirlwind of activities, social events, tasks and travel. So it may be hard to even consider resolutions. But it’s equally difficult,  if not impossible, on December 31 to suddenly come up with a solid plan and resolve that is both doable and realistic. Wishful thinking isn’t a resolution. We’re talking substantial goals that can be met. 

So, ask yourself: What do I want to accomplish in the coming year? Deepen my spiritual life? Improve my health or finances? Complete a long overdue project? Stop smoking? Then be specific. What would you need to do in order to deepen your faith or relationship with God? Increase prayer time? Attend regular retreats? Start reading daily devotionals? Give of your time as a volunteer?

Just as Advent prepares us spiritually for Christmas, let the final months of 2010 prepare you for the coming year. Think about your goal. Be specific. Write down the steps or behaviors you'll commit to. For me it was journaling my food and joining a health club. Once I had those two steps in mind, I found out that a neighbor also needed to lose weight and we became diet buddies, weighing in once a week and doing a yoga class together. Then I found a rubber wristband with the declaration: Don’t Give Up! Which turned out to be a great reminder of my goal. Once you make a commitment, it seems as if support comes from unexpected quarters.

Goethe once said: “Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

You can do it! You can stick to your New Year’s resolution in the coming year and reap the satisfaction of accomplishment! I know. I’m almost there.

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