Archived Story

Add umph to your New Years resolutions

Published 12:00am Saturday, December 29, 2007

Column by David Larson, Power for Living

What&8217;s your New Year&8217;s resolution?

Are you excited about moving ahead with a desire of yours that you&8217;ve been putting off?

Or are you tired of making New Year&8217;s resolutions and not seeing them materialize into anything?

When you revisit your resolutions of the past, do you smile or get discouraged?

Do you even remember what your last resolution was?

New Year&8217;s resolutions can have a powerful impact to change our lives. Some ways of conceptualizing them, however, lead to more success than others!

If you want your New Year&8217;s resolution to carry some clout, it must be something for which you have a passion. Your passion is the fuel for your vision. Your passion will keep you energized and moving forward. Passion is what translates dreams into action. Being passionate about your dream means you really want it!

If my goal is to lose weight this year, I must go beyond sitting in my easy chair wishing I was lighter. If I am passionate about losing weight, I will get myself up off the couch and get those walking shoes on. I will drop the remote and pick up the phone to get that Y membership. I will think about my goal when I wake up and decide to renew my commitment to it every morning. Passion provides the necessary &8220;umph&8221; for overcoming inertia that has kept you stuck in the past. In other words, get excited about what you want!

Secondly, your passion needs a plan. There&8217;s a difference between wishful thinking and participating in a way that insures your success. The more specific your plan, the better. &8220;I will walk for 30 minutes 6 days a week before eating breakfast.&8221; is better than &8220;I&8217;m going to lose weight.&8221;

Having a plan means putting thoughts together about the &8216;how,&8217; which sets in motion the energy to create the result. Your hows may actually change over time, (and some answers will appear out of the blue to assist you in ways you don&8217;t know yet), but having a plan helps get you in motion. It not only gives you a starting place, but also a place to focus after getting started!

A plan isn&8217;t much good unless you are committed to it. What do you need to change in order that you can change?

Does it mean setting the alarm clock earlier than last year? Does it mean getting up when the alarm clock rings? Does it mean being more conscious about purchases at the grocery store? Does it mean budgeting the necessary funds to reach your goal? What do you need to learn to make yourself successful? By definition, resolution means you are resolved to find solution. When will you get on with it?

Finally, who do you have supporting you? Have you let them know what kind of encouragement you need? Going at it alone can invite exhaustion and loneliness. Don&8217;t try and go solo when it&8217;s more fun to have comrades on the journey. Research has shown that if you have called a friend to ask for help with your goal, you are already twice as likely to achieve it.

OK, let&8217;s review. Passion. Plan, Commitment. Support.

There. Feel better?

You and I are not victims of what the world decides to hand us. We go after what we want with confidence and determination. We do not let surprises stop us, and we see every obstacle as a stepping stone. We&8217;re on our way!

Happy New Year!

David Larson, M.S., C.P.C.C., is a licensed psychologist, professional life coach, and founder of the Institute For Wellness. He can be contacted at (507) 373-7913, or at his Web site,