Making New Year’s resolutions is as traditional as watching the Rose Parade. Breaking New Year’s resolutions is as predictable as the turn of a new calendar page. How many bright promises made in January are still going strong by Valentine’s Day? When Easter rolls around, is that exercise habit still happening? How about the plan to touch base with random customers by phone, just to chat, once a month? Or the plan to mystery shop this year to see how satisfied your customers are?
The experts probably have plenty of data to show why we so often fall on the path toward improvement. Boredom, lack of time or self-discipline, easy access to Oreos, all share the blame. And the guilt over letting a resolution slide adds to the defeat, no matter how many excuses (reasons) we cite.
Yet NOT making a resolution seems somehow wrong. Of course we’re all looking to improve in some category, from offering more frequent feedback to drinking more water. But there’s a way to minimize the whole resolution revolution. Instead of that top-10 January 1 To-Do List, spread it out. Go for a “new month’s resolution,” easing the stress over too much too fast. A new behavior needs about three or four weeks to become a habit, or so the experts tell us. Our daily routine and inner system needs that time to accept this change as part of the scenery.
By time you’ve incorporated the first resolution into your life, you’re energized by your success and ready for more. Bring it on, you’re up for it! If you’re planning to handle payments more promptly, that’ll be in place by time you tackle a new emailing list. Instead of the wreckage of too many failed resolutions, you’ve built on bite-size progress toward your overall goal. Who needs Christmas in July (or is that Happy New Fiscal Year)? By then, yours will be the only working New Year’s resolutions in town.