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Why I Make a Commitment and Not a Resolution - Part I

The end of each year brings with it the thought of doing better next year. We’re all familiar with New Year’s resolutions. I made one resolution many years ago and kept it, that is no more “New Year’s Resolution.” My reason for not making any more resolutions is simple; I found that a commitment is stronger than a resolution. As a noun, a resolution is defined as 1. the act or process of resolving: deal with successfully: clear up. Both are a decision to do or not to do something. As a noun, commitment is defined as 1. an agreement or pledge to do something in the future: 2. an act of committing to a charge or trust.

A resolution is a quality decision to do or not do something; a commitment is an act of (dedication) to a trust (cause). “Resolving” and “dedicating” are different. So, I have been making New Year’s Commitments for a long time and have made each year better than the previous one.

What does next year have in store for you? What next year has in store for you is entirely up to you. What if I told you that in this coming year, you would be more effective, more energetic, strategic, and insightful with a clear understanding of what needs to be done and the confidence of knowing with a high probability what will get done? Being better happens not by chance but by planning.

Are You Paying the Price or Enjoying the Price You Paid?

Putting in more time planning and scheduling what you will be doing and when before the year begins, releases you to be all in and fully present every minute of every day. With the plans for your what, when and why taken care of upfront, the process of getting more accomplished with less effort is more likely, enjoyable and empowering.

Some years after he changed the quality and direction of his life, Zig Ziglar was asked about the price he paid for the transformation of his life and change for his future, he replied, “I’m still enjoying the results of the price I paid.” The lesson is if you do it right, the benefits you enjoy are always greater and last longer than the price you paid.

Fundamental to successful living is being fully present every moment of every day. Being fully present allows you the awareness of the many levels of commitments you have with yourself and others at any given time, it is knowing where you stand with what needs to be done, with who and how.

Be Efficient, not Emotional

Winning makes us feel good and losing makes us feel bad; the truth is in and of themselves, neither winning nor losing carry any emotions. The emotions we experience depend on what value we attach to each event. A quality decision to uncover the “why,” which produced each outcome, changes how we feel about each occurrence.

Whether it is examining past experiences or tackling today’s responsibilities, managing your emotions is vital. I remember how my emotions posed a challenge to speaking and writing regularly for a living. I began thinking and writing daily, whether I liked it or not, getting started is more than half the battle.

O. H. Mowrer says, “It is easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling than to feel yourself into a better way of action.” You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about what goes into intentionally planning to be better next year, but managing your emotions and getting started is progress. Practice Intentional Thinking Not Wishful Thinking

John Maxwell begins intentionally planning his new year by studying his wins and losses for the present year. In the final week of each year, Maxwell says, “I pull out my calendar and make a list of significant events, tasks, meetings, decisions, and accomplishments. I spend time reflecting in order to remember and write down every experience that stood out in the past year. I write down both positive and negative experiences because I know that I learn more from losing than from winning.”(1)

The value derived from learning where and why you win and lose will show you how to repeat the victories and not the losses. Take what you learn and immediately apply it to your daily life. I have a simple four-step process to help you get started on a better year ahead, Address people and necessary things now – don’t wait. Be proactive and decide on the what, why, where, when and how. Clearly identify the intended outcomes for each (include relationships). Do what directs you toward intended outcomes. “Tomorrow, is the first page of a 365 page book, write a good one.” – Brad Paisley (1) Look Back to Plan Forward by John C. Maxwell *** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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