Happy New Year! How can your resolutions last?

On a recent holiday we walked everywhere – upwards of 20 km a day. We felt so much better for it. We came back from holiday, resolved to walk every day, and for two days we managed it, and then we got busy.

What is busy?

It’s made me reflect on what busy really means, and now it’s the New Year; the time when people decide to do things differently. But we know that resolutions don’t last. Why not?

I touched on this in an earlier New Year’s blog which mentions Cut the Crud. That is still relevant, but I think I can add to it, as I think the problem is about lists.

Whilst we know we must get through today’s tasks, if we just focus on today, we will never achieve our tomorrows. There will always be another today interfering with what we really want for ourselves. Personally, I want to be happy and healthy in mind and body well into old age, which means I have to do something about it every day. Walking does it for me, and there’s plenty of science behind that.

Hijacking your goals

But knowing what to do and doing it are two very different things. We muddle important and urgent. We have a list of things that we need to do, or think we do, so we work through that To Do list. At the end of the day we may feel achieved, but we may not have done the one or two things that move us towards what we really want. We have hijacked ourselves by allowing everything on the list to have the same importance and weighting as the things that are truly important to us.

Get to your tomorrows

So, back to Cut the Crud. Decide what is important and urgent, what is urgent but not important, and which is neither. Put them in order – important and urgent back to the top. Above all of them keep your one or two things to do every day to achieve your ultimate aim. That tells you that you must, in my case, walk, every day. Crucially, it keeps it in your mind all the time.

Keep your resolutions – know yourself

We are all better at procrastination than action. We need to accept this and trick ourselves into doing better. People put off doing the bookkeeping so it builds up and needs more time. Finding more time becomes more difficult so creates more delay. Do something every day and then it’s never hard. Your bookkeeping isn’t your ultimate aim – it’s just an example. Make your own list so that you end up with the fulfilment and achievement you deserve. This will help you to keep your resolutions that bit better. Oh, and go for a walk – I have!