The Resolution Solution
by Jim Stovall

Each year when the calendar rolls over again, human beings all around the world engage in a number of strange behaviors. Many people pass into the new year by consuming entirely too much food and alcohol, then they do the world-famous countdown to the Happy New Year and begin by sleeping through the first day and suffering the effects of too much food and drink. Then it is time for the annual struggle with the New Year's resolutions.

There is something about being forced to write a new year on your checks and correspondence that causes people to create absurd resolutions. I have written a number of books dealing with setting goals and reaching your life objectives. I am a proponent of this; however, this is far different from the haphazard, offhand way people establish New Year's resolutions. Not only do they not work, but they become, in many cases, counterproductive.

Any time we set a goal, we are in essence making a promise to ourselves. If we cannot keep this promise because we were not really serious about the goal in the first place, or if we have set an unrealistic goal, it makes it that much harder to reach other goals down the road. If you have changes you want to make in your life, or goals you want to begin actively pursuing, January is no better or worse time than any other.

When you do set a goal, whether it be now or later, be sure it meets the following criteria:

  1. Make sure the goal belongs to you. You can't lose weight, quit smoking, or begin being financially responsible because your spouse, mother-in-law, etc. thinks you should. The goal must belong to you.

  2. Be sure your goal is realistic. Don't set yourself up for failure before you start. Find people who have been successful at reaching the goal you are seeking and follow their pattern.

  3. Set a pace that is sustainable. It is much more important at what level you will be performing a year from now than trying to overdo unrealistically today.

  4. Enjoy the process. If you are going to be an achiever in this life, you will spend much more time climbing mountains than you will sitting on the peak. Learn to enjoy the road -- not only the destination.

Today, resolve either to set a real goal that matters to you or release the baggage of New Year's resolutions.

Today's the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author, columnist, and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at

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Copyright 2003 by Jim Stovall. All rights reserved.

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