Friday, January 6, 2012

New Beginnings: Resolutions to Commitments

Bring me to LifeImage by ~FreeBirD®~ via FlickrBy David C Bessenbacher

Here we are again, the beginning of a new year, a time when many make resolutions to better themselves for the year to come. Unfortunately all too often the vast majority will either give up or all together forget the resolutions that they crafted just a few months or even weeks before.

How can we than this coming year and for the rest of our lives resolve to fulfill the resolutions that we have set before us? Can we let go of bad habits and build good ones or is it futile to even try? There is a way and there is a purpose in creating a plan for your coming year to better yourself.

The truth is that most of the resolutions made are only wishes that start with "I'd like to." "I'd like to stop smoking this year" or "I'd like to start saving money." There is never a firm commitment or plan put into place so the resolution whittles away until forgotten. There must be a total conversion in our thought process and attitude to accomplish not only a better year, but a better life!

In his book Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life, author Orrin Woodward shows the resolutions of great figures in American history and how they used resolutions to forge leadership principles into their very core. He uses the examples of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Jonathan Edwards. These men did not go looking for quick fixes or band aids to their problems but a way to change from the inside out and thus became some of the greatest figures in history.

We must first look at the person we want to become, not some rendition of somebody else, but the best us. We must resolve that the person that we want to become will not be an easy task, but take a total conversion of our mind. We must commit to the process and we must track the results.

First start out by writing a vision or personal mission statement that defines who you are and where you want to go. Don't be tempted to let doubt and negative thoughts creep in and think that you could never achieve this higher vision of yourself. Of course you will never be perfect; however you should strive to become better everyday.

Next write out some goals, these unlike your vision should be more specific. If in your vision you said "financial freedom" than in your goal it should state what specifically financial freedom would be to you. A goal should have a date in which you expect to accomplish it and should stretch you in order to achieve it.

After your goals are clearly defined and you have committed to them, now it is time to make a game plan of what it will take to accomplish them. This can be done by drawing out a time line and deciding what activities you will be doing to accomplish the goals. For example if one of your goals was to lose 20 pounds you may have a time line of week 1 stop drinking soda, week 2 lose at least 5 pounds and so on.

Now put your game plan in action and go do what you have planned out. Remember that it will not be easy and it is highly recommend that you find a trusted mentor or friend that can help keep you accountable on your journey. Sometimes it's easy to give up if no one knows what we have set out to do, but once we have told someone we are going to do it, we now have motivation beyond ourselves. We are more likely to continue with positive affirmations from our trusted friend or mentor.

Review your goals and game plan often. Make time to sit down with your mentor or friend and review your progress. You may find that you need to make adjustments somewhere in your game plan in order to achieve your goals. This is common and may be best if done every 30 days. It can also be refreshing and rewarding to know and share that you are making progress!

Resolve to make this the best year ever! Stop making washed up wishes that ultimately end in failure and start making commitments to your future. There is nothing more fulfilling than a life lived on purpose and to discover that life we must dig deep within ourselves and uncover the greatness within. We should, with specific intent, plant seeds that grow into abundant fruit to bless our life and the lives of others.

David Bessenbacher

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