You’re not alone. Research shows that the majority of all resolutions fail within 6 months. So why do we bother?
I think we make resolutions because we want to be better people. We see weaknesses and want to fix them. There’s nothing wrong with this impulse but there’s a better way of going about it than making resolutions.
The other day I came across an article by Chris Brogan, My 3 Words for 2012. I was intrigued. Chris’s approach is to dig deep and find three words that’ll act as your polestar as you navigate the new year.
To me Brogan’s idea of “3 words” is similar to resolutions but acts more as a mantra – a way to remind yourself on a daily basis to hold your course.
my 3 words for 2012
- Simplify. I will clear out the physical and mental junk that holds little value or relevance in my life. This means tossing out, recycling, or donating stuff that’s filling useful space. I intend to be more mindful of thinking that isn’t helpful and let it go. This includes thoughts of scarcity, dread, and perfection. I will look for ways to simplify my work.
- Play. I am by nature a somewhat serious guy with a touch of melancholy that comes no doubt from my Irish heritage. I will learn to take time to cavort, dance, rejoice, and mess around. In other words, have some fun.
- Accept. I will learn to accept that things often happen regardless of what I do or don’t do. I will accept the hard times along with the good, the sad with the joyful, and abundance with scarcity. And I will try to do all this with equanimity.
Having 3 words is a start. You can assure yourself greater success by doing the following:
- Make your words public. Put your 3 words on facebook, twitter, or your blog. Let your friends and family know how you’re doing. Going public will motivate you to succeed. I’ve made my list public and already feel an obligation to report to you on my progress. Stay tuned!
- Post your words. Type up your 3 words and stick them where you’ll see them every day. It might be on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or on your bedside table. I’ve pasted mine on my computer monitor.
- Work on one word at a time. Your chances of success are greater if you apply yourself to changing one thing. I’ve chosen play as the first thing to focus on.
- Make it a habit. Research shows that it takes on average about 60 days to develop a habit so that it becomes automatic. This means that each day for 60 days you need to practice the one behavior you want to achieve. I’ll set aside 30 minutes each day for the next 60 days to engage in a playful activity that isn’t something that I’m already doing. Once a week I’ll take an hour to “mess around”. At the end of two months I’ll chose another word while at the same time holding on to my newly acquired habit of play.
What are your 3 words?
What are the 3 words that’ll guide you through 2012? Why not share them here. I’d love to hear from you.
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