It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
And isn’t that what we do with New Year’s resolutions? We make the vast and sweeping resolutions with abstract, unmeasurable results.
And perhaps the bigger problem…we simply forget. We go about our days and weeks and we simply forget about the changes we planned on making. It’s the downside to habit. According to research, more than half our day is done completely without conscious thought or decision making.
I didn’t wake up and think, “Hmm, what should I do now?” Instead, I woke up, checked the time, used the bathroom, got my sweater, pulled my hair back, and made my coffee. I do those things every single day, with little to no thought.
Because of our habit tendencies, New Year’s resolutions often disappear without our even noticing. And then we find ourselves at the end of another year, changes still unmade.
If you want to make real changes, whether it be in scrapbooking, photography, parenting, health, fitness, relationships, or anything else, you have to find a way to remember. You need to be continually reminded of the what and the why.
A few weeks ago I heard about a site called FutureMe.org. This site allows you to write a letter to yourself and decide when it will get sent.
What an awesome concept!
I remember being at summer camp as a kid and our counselors having us write a letter to ourselves about what we learned that week and what we wanted to do about it. They would promise to mail those letters in a few months (which only some of them did!) The letters that did arrive were so inspirational to me. It is one thing to be fired up at summer camp, but to be reminded months later of the decisions I made was awesome.
If you have New Year’s Resolutions, why not write a letter (or two or ten) to yourself. Tell yourself what you have decided on, why you made the decision, and share the practical steps you are going to take to get there. Have the letters delivered over the next few weeks and months. It will keep you focused, motivated, and it won’t let you forget what you are so excited about today.