We are not going to talk about resolutions forever, but since we just started 2016, it seems like a good idea to at least weigh in once or twice on the subject we are all preoccupied with accomplishing. New topic tomorrow, promise.
So you are on day 3 of your new mission, and hopefully taking all of the steps we’ve discussed…. doing a daily thing, a weekly thing and keeping at least one form of documentation to track and log your progress, challenges and successes. One more thing you might consider doing is perhaps a bit more uncomfortable: Tell people. The more people the better.
Why? Well, when you keep something to yourself you preserve a kind of safety and comfort — and a lack of accountability. We are all very attached to our comfort. Change is disruptive and it makes us uncomfortable. But to succeed at your resolution, you need to gain some significant discomfort. The kind of discomfort that brings with it emotional consequences. By telling people what you have resolved to change — whether it is your weight, business, smoking cessation or even that you are taking a course or learning a language — you promote accountability. People will ask you about it. They will notice when you violate your own principles, and they will provide some resistance to your natural pull toward comfort instead of change.
Here’s another perspective on why you need to tell people about your mission. Remember in the last entry I talked about regarding your resolution as your promise, your personal word. This is an extension of that principle. You have given your word to yourself. And yes, in essence that is the most important person to whom you should keep your word. But most of us don’t really live that way. We let ourselves off the hook all the time. If you think about it, that’s quite sad — that we value our own relationship with ourselves less than that with others. But in general, it is true. We are more apt to exert effort and discipline when we have someone else’s opinion of us at stake. Maybe you think it shouldn’t be that way; I sort of agree. But that’s a topic for another day. Still, if you know that you will extend yourself to avoid disappointing someone else, or even to save face, then instead of feeling bad about it, use it to your advantage.
So tell someone about your resolutions — preferably someone who you like and whose opinion you value. In fact, tell lots of people. Share it on Facebook or LinkedIn, tell your spouse or better yet, your children. You know who in your life will hold you to account and support your progress. You also know who will let you off the hook, or even take pleasure in your failure. Tell the people who will NOT let you off the hook. You want to tell people who you care about and those who you love — and you want them to have high expectations of you, because you will strive to fulfill those expectations and then you will succeed with greater ease and higher rates of effectiveness than you will for those who expect little or nothing.
This is a challenge! Go public. Do it now. Make it loud and clear, and include the metrics for your result. I promise that if you consider that you are giving your word by resolving to fulfill your goal, then by telling people, you will experience a real change in your own relationship to this goal. And it will empower and strengthen you to accomplish it!
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