Resolution: Easier made than kept?

Sunday, 29 December 2013 - 1:06pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

Goals, outcomes, resolutions whether personal or professional, are all big-sounding and impressive words, but when it comes to living by them, it calls for discipline at every step on the way. It is one thing to make a promise and an entirely different one to live through that promise day in and day out.

In order to make resolutions work on a daily basis, baby steps have to be taken in the right direction. Let’s walk through with a couple of illustrations.

If a student, who wants to balance sports and academics, has a weekly test one morning and a semi-final football tournament the same day, it will require him/her to sleep late the previous night in order to complete last minute preparations for the exams and wake up early next day to attend school. All along, the student will have to remain fresh and energised enough to play a late evening match. Compromise on any one front will break the resolve.

Take a resolve like 100% attendance at work or school. One has to skip weddings and social functions, re-arrange family holidays, push oneself to overcome fatigue, lethargy or illness and report to work or school every single working day.

For a professional or an executive, aiming at a 30% growth in revenue requires creating Key Result Areas (KRAs) for business heads and monitoring the KRAs on a yearly, quarterly and monthly basis.

A lot of people resolve to lead a healthy life and to exercise every morning. Few are able to stick to the commitment by waking up on a dark cold winter morning, slip into their running shoes and wind cheater, brace against the morning cold and make it to the gym, or hit the road running or cycling.

The most common resolution for people is to keep their anger in check. Given the highly stressful lives that we lead in today’s times, anger is commonplace. Using techniques like deep breathing, counting till 10, keeping the tone and pitch low while the emotions are playing havoc and  the eyes are flashing red can be quite a difficult task.

Want to reduce 5 kg? Going to a dietician regularly, working out consistently, staying away from snacking and empty calories can help one achieve the goal. Then begins the uphill task of maintaining that weight loss. Lifestyle changes, daily exercises and day-to-day calorie counting need strong discipline.

A small resolve like being on time and mastering time management skills requires one to plan far ahead, for traffic congestion, for breakdowns and for unforeseen circumstances. Nurturing hobbies like singing & dancing needs time aside for regular practice.  

Life is a rollercoaster. It is fast. Yet we have to make our choices in professional & personal spaces. Knowing our priorities and sticking to them faithfully is what helps keep our resolutions in place.

Sticking to resolutions is hard. That is why only a small percentage, less than 10%, of people who make resolutions are able to stand by them. That is also why there are several psychological tools and phone apps available to keep people on the right track.

Manjula pooja shroff
The writer is  an entrepreneur and educationist

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