Welcome back to routine, everyone
I hope your holidays were good, and that you’re returning to work refreshed and recharged for the new year.
Have You Established Resolutions for 2016?
A friendly tweet from one reader a few days ago highlighted the attention given this time of year to resolutions and to improving ourselves. Do resolutions work for you?
I’m happy to acknowledge being as imperfect as the next person, but prefer goal setting rather than resolutions. For me, the intent of resolutions and goals aren’t that dissimilar. I simply like that goal setting implies action, and the development and execution of plans to achieve the outcomes we want. You know: specific strategies, formation (and often shedding) of habits, and regular monitoring for progress.
Whether you’ve begun 2016 with one or more resolutions, or are working on goals, there’s an initial flush of positive inspiration. The trick, though, is that we’re human. It may be difficult to maintain new practices that support our goals, or block the return of habits we know we should drop.
Habits – Good and Bad
Business coach Tom Bartow has written about habit formation, and the significance of being prepared to resist temptation to revert to unwanted routines or habits. His approach is that, each time we give in to temptation or talk ourselves into taking the easy way out (“I deserve it”, “They won’t notice my skills, anyway”, “It’s been a tough day”, or “Missing this one run won’t make much difference”), we make it easier for ourselves to lose the next round.
On the other hand, Bartow suggests that making a conscious decision to stare down that temptation and keep our eyes on the end goal sets the stage to win the next such struggle. He encourages taking a cold, hard look and asking yourself whether you’ll be satisfied with your future if you give in to unwanted habits. With time, he suggests, the newly formed habits will become second nature.
Healthy Habits as They Relate to Your Strength: Training the Brain
Amy Morin, LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), wrote an article in 2013 on the correlation between healthy habits and mental strength. She should know about resilience; she was widowed at age 26, and had also lost her mother by that age. Morin’s article has become one of Forbes’ most widely read articles of all time, and she’s subsequently expanded the article into a book.
When you give up the things that are holding you back, you can accomplish incredible feats – Amy Morin
Here’s a compressed look at Morin’s list of 13 things mentally strong people don’t do; you can click here to see more details on her website.
Mentally Strong People Do Not …
- Waste time feeling sorry for themselves
- Give away their power
- Shy away from change
- Waste energy on things they can’t control
- Worry about pleasing others
- Fear taking calculated risks
- Dwell on the past
- Make the same mistakes over and over
- Resent other people’s success
- Give up after failure
- Fear alone time
- Feel the world owes them anything
- Expect immediate results
Whether or not you’re a resolution setter, I’d like to challenge you to take a couple of minutes to consider Morin’s list.
If you have recently made some resolutions or established goals, you may find the list one more tool in your action plan to achieve those resolutions or goals.
How about it: are you in?