2022 Resolution Time is Here

DAMN!  It’s Resolution Time Again……Resolution Time

Heck, I’m still working my way through the rest of the Holiday goodies and now I’m supposed to step back and focus on all the amazing ways I’m going to change my life in 2022?  Okay, here goes.

The good news:  I actually do have some–deeply engrained habits that many people struggle to emulate.

The not-so-good news: I am woefully inadequate in changing my behavior in an area I really need to improve.

First for my good behavior:

1.How many of you weigh exactly what you want to weigh and regularly exercise to stay healthy and fit? I’ve got that one nailed. I run/walk a minimum of seven–ten miles a day and love that I can in my fit in skinny clothes and am downright healthy.

2. I’m an author and I love to write. My characters are my best friends. I can’t wait to talk to them. I write every day and never have to harangue myself to write. If I miss a day for some reason I eagerly catch up the next day.

Now for my “bad” behavior.  What don’t I do, that I desperately need to do?  That’s simple (and incredibly challenging for me) I need to make my marketing worthy of the great books that I’m writing. Obviously, being an author is more than writing books.

To summarize:

What do I do religiously? I work out every day. I write every day.

What don’t I do?  Work on my marketing.

So here goes.

To tackle my marketing issue I’ve turned to the experts.   One in particular , Elizabeth Scott, PhD  who writes about how to make long-lasting life changes wrote a terrific article:  Make a New Year’s Resolution That Lasts.

According to MS. Scott, each year, people make New Year’s resolutions  and each year, most of those resolutions go unresolved. While you may feel inspired to pursue a fresh, new goal on New Year’s Day, most New Year’s resolutions are discarded and forgotten by spring. So why are long-lasting goals so hard to maintain? Even behavior change experts acknowledge that pursuing and achieving goals is very difficult.

There is, however, some emerging evidence about different types of goals and the way that these types of goals interact that may help you find success. Scott says understanding the science behind these goal-setting techniques may help you to turn your New Year’s resolution into a long-lasting lifestyle change.

Different Types of Goals for Resolution Time

While most people (like me!) make a “resolution” on New Year’s Day, Dr. Scott says it more productive to set a goal. A traditional resolution is more like a pact—an ironclad promise to flawlessly carry out a new habit or to never again participate in an old one.  (Sound familiar?)

A goal, on the other hand, is a commitment to work towards an endpoint that is desirable

Researchers have identified two types of goals: subordinate goals and superordinate goals. They theorize that by setting both types of goals, you have a better chance of making successful short-term changes that turn into long-lasting lifestyle habits that are in line with your values and your view of your ideal self.

Superordinate Goals

A superordinate goal, or long-term goal, is a broad-based goal that prioritizes your high-level values and is based on the person that you desire to be.

Subordinate Goals

Subordinate goals are shorter-term, specific, action-based goals. They provide detail about what you will do and when you will do it. If superordinate goals provide a “why” for the habit change experience, then subordinate goals provide the “how.”2

A Goal-Setting Strategy for Lasting Change

Researchers who study subordinate and superordinate goal setting have theorized that the best way to achieve longer-lasting success is to combine both goal types. Superordinate goals provide a general sense of direction and help you to sort through priorities when different goals or tasks compete for your attention. But subordinate goals provide stepping stones—specific measurable actions—that keep you engaged and motivated.

So how do you put your own lifestyle change plan into place? First, you’ll need to define your goals. Then you’ll want to refine your goals. Finally, you’ll want to adjust your goals.

Define

  • To define a superordinate goal, list three reasons why I want to pursue my New Year’s resolution.
  • To define a subordinate goal, I will list three concrete actions or steps describing how I will pursue my New Year’s resolution.

Refine

Next, refine your subordinate goals. To do so, it may be helpful to use the SMART goal approach. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Finally: Adjust

As you put your resolution plan into motion, you might find that you need to make adjustments.

Remember, by changing the game plan (the subordinate goals), you are not giving up on your main (superordinate) goal—you are simply approaching it from a new angle. This should be seen as an indicator of persistence and success, not as a sign of failure or giving up.

If your plan is humming along smoothly, then continue to set new subordinate goals as you reach established endpoints. Give yourself credit, reward yourself, and use that confidence to continue the forward momentum.

Tips for Success

Remember that setting and reaching goals is an ongoing process that is never a straight line to success. Expect to encounter challenges along the way. Experts provide other tips for keeping your New Year’s resolution for long-term habit change.3

One Change at a Time

There will be many different ways to reach a superordinate goal. Focus on just one small habit change at a time until you get better at the process.

Challenge Yourself in Small Doses

You can do so by setting shorter time-frames, or by setting goals that you know you can achieve. As your confidence grows and success rate increases, so should the degree of difficulty.

Become a Do-er

Studies suggest that approach-based goals (where you make a commitment to do something) are more effective than avoidance goals (where you make a commitment to avoid doing something).

Get Support

It’s not likely that you will be the only one in your family or social circle who will be making a resolution in January. Find someone who has a goal similar to yours and make a commitment to connect regularly and provide each other support.

Plan Rewards

Plan rewards for yourself at regular intervals along the way. Rewards may help you to stay on track and maintain motivation. Try to find rewards that are in line with your achievements and that help you to maintain interest when challenges arise.

PHEW!!!!

Thank goodness I have five days to get my plan in place.  Here’s my promise to you and to me.  Over this next year I will take on my marketing issue.  And come Jan 1, 2022, I will look back on what worked and what I need to do differently. Meantime I will congratulate myself for tackling an issue that is frustrating the heck out  me.  Onward and Upward!

Many hugs and Happy New Year!

And while you are gearing up for 2022, take a moment to savor the wonderful Christmas season one more time. Dive into these two fantastic Box Sets, my Author Billboard pals, and I created to celebrate the Christmas season.

Resolution Time

Unforgettable Christmas Promises

Festive Christmas Nights

Festive Christmas Nights (Fabulous Freebie Collection Book 5)

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll  know the title is from a song. Although whether we’re really happy or not may not be a simple thing to know, we all clap our hands anyway.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick—and I’ve come up with my personal best list.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

    But did you know that you don’t even have to like your job to be happy  if you like the people you work with? 

    In fact, according to Buetner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money. I can personally attest to the truth of this!

  3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right? Maybe it’s hard to put this into practice in  every day life, but those who do are happiest.
  4. You are healthy. While it’s not something we think about, according to statistics, it is harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy. So don’t take this one for granted.
  5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tell for happiness.
  6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy. Of course, you probably already know how these things can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
  7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, socializing and sleep—and all those other personal care things to keep you healthy, like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

Tell me what you’re going to do to improve your happiness.