Healthy Living: New Year, new chance to achieve all you want to do

Carl Hendrickson

Carl Hendrickson

By Carl Hendrickson

A new year. Another year older.

Appropriately, my birthday is on New Year’s Day.

What resolutions will I make?

If you do not make resolutions because you fail to obtain your goals, perhaps you have not developed the ongoing habit of excellence.

The early Greek philosopher Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” He recognized long ago that our brain creates strong tendencies to follow the same pattern time after time.

We may resolve to change each New Year, and we may for awhile, but soon we fall back into old, familiar patterns of life. And another resolution goes unfulfilled.

But change is possible. Excellence is not an act, but a habit. I believe each of us can develop the habit of excellence if we apply ourselves to the task. But it is not easy. It takes a willingness to stretch ourselves mentally and emotionally. It takes aspiration, dedication and energy.

Do I achieve my goals? Do I fulfill my resolutions? Have I succeeded in making a habit of excellence? No, I am still a work in progress. But from looking back on past failures, I can see why I and others often fail.

It is much easier to make excuses for failure to yourself than to others. A goal, a resolution, kept secret easily is broken. If no one but yourself is aware of your goal, then nobody will realize that you have failed.

So inform others of goals, of resolutions. No one wants to admit failure to another. And by telling others, they can offer you encouragement.

Other reasons for failing to achieve goals are being vague about what you wish to accomplish, not truly making a serious commitment, not establishing a plan of action and procrastinating. I expect these reasons sound familiar to some of us. What to do!

Establish a plan of action by breaking down your goals, your resolutions into doable steps. Write or put these steps on your calendar. Make them daily or weekly appointments/commitments to yourself.

It is important if you are to be successful in achieving goals to periodically have a “reality check” to see how you’re doing. If you have been procrastinating, get back on schedule.

This year I again will make resolutions. Perhaps by following my own advice, I may feel good about myself at the end of 2019 for having invested in myself, for making success a habit.

Happy New Year to each reader. May you achieve all your goals and fulfill all your resolutions this year.