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Chapter 16. New Year's Resolutions and O... > Why New Year's Resolutions Lose Thei... - Pg. 165

New Year's Resolutions and Other Self-Improvement Promises I think I procrastinate in my personal life because I'm so overwhelmingly busy with a full-time career and a part-time business that when it comes to doing things for myself, I put them off. In my work, I can't miss deadlines, so when I have a moment free, I hate to burden myself with something else to do. --Fran K., communications manager 165 It's a miracle that any New Year's resolutions are ever kept. When you make one, you expect dra- matic changes to take place in your behavior overnight. Think about how silly it is that you could be one person on January 1 (and all the days that came before) and a totally different person on January 2. As you found out in Chapter 6, "Making Sure You'll Really Do It This Time," change happens gradually and requires a shift in both mindset and daily routine. There are three main flaws in most people's New Year's resolutions (or resolutions made at any other point in the year): 1. The resolution is too broad.If you say, "I want to lose weight this year," or even if you're more specific with a resolution like, "I want to lose 20 pounds by April," the statement is too broad. Those statements are goals or end results. They're not resolutions. A resolution is the act of resolving to do something. You resolve to eat fast food only once a week instead four or five times a week. You resolve to join a weight-loss group on Monday morning. Resolutions will work only if you make them concrete, specific, and doable. Start with a simple baby step you can achieve on January 2. Then with the confidence and momentum built from that accom- plishment, set the next step for a week later, or whatever time frame makes sense. Keep going with weekly or monthly resolutions until you reach the ultimate goal. The resolution doesn't get worked into daily life.You might have so much determination to keep your resolution that it's practically spilling out of you. But no matter how much you are psychologically ready to work toward your goals, you won't reach them unless your daily rou- tine incorporates the steps necessary for reaching those goals. As you learned in Chapter 5, "It's About Time," extra time doesn't just appear out of nowhere. If you resolve, for example, 2.