Don’t Get “Should On” by Your New Year’s Resolutions

From Wikipedia “New Year’s Resolutions”

What’s the most popular blog and editorial topic every January? It has to be New Year’s resolutions. Promises to do better, be better, make a difference, make a change or take a chance.  If you are one of the millions with a 2010 resolutions list, hold your list up to these questions to see if they measure up as truly useful tools capable of pulling you toward what you really want.

  • Are my resolutions measurable and quantifiable?  Compare “lose one pound per week” to the less specific phrase “lose weight”.
  • Have I framed my goals in positive language with no recriminations that will make me feel bad when I read them?  Compare “Each morning I will do first the things I would be tempted to put off” to “I will stop procrastinating”.
  • What is motivating me to create resolutions?  Are they energizing? Do I truly want to create different results for myself or am I simply recording what I think I should do?

Albert Ellis (1913-2007) coined the phrase “don’t should on yourself”.  It’s all about challenging the social edicts that surface from our subconscious as imposter goals — goals that set us up for failure because they’re not personally motivating.  We don’t own them.   They are someone else’s idea of what is good or worthwhile.  If the prospect of becoming an ex-smoker doesn’t excite us how will we produce the strength required to overcome the physical addiction and behavioral habit?

Here are some online resources to help us bring personal development into the new year.

Maria Galca’s Life Toolkit – I like this site a lot.  She’s got some truly helpful tips for turning new year’s resolutions into a positive be-good-to-yourself experience.

Bill Dueease has his best resolutions and goal setting tips here on The Coach Connection Blog.

And finally, some new year’s resolutions advice from Stephen Covey.


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