Resolution Rule #1

Of the 40-45% of American adults who make resolutions each year, most resolve to improve their lifestyle by losing weight, exercising more, stopping smoking, and managing their money better. However, one quarter of those resolutions fall by the wayside within one week and less than 50% last six months. The people who make these resolutions truly want to live better, yet they fall far short of living a healthier, wealthier life. How can that be?

It is easy to find a list of pointers on how to keep a resolution, but these lists are missing, or downplay the most important ingredient you need to keep your resolution. The experts tell you to set realistic goals, plan for obstacles, track your progress, involve a support group, reward yourself for progress and add variety to your activities. These guidelines appeal to your rational brain. I can see you nodding your head, saying, "that's right, I'm a rational person." I'm sorry to break the news to you, but human beings are not rational. We are emotional. If you want to accomplish anything important you must understand the emotions involved. It does not matter whether we are talking about world peace or your waistline. Making progress requires that you account for the emotions involved in the status quo as well as the emotions involved in making fundamental changes.

Rule number one in making a resolution is to dig deep and find out why this resolution is compelling to you. Why is it so important to you that you are willing to turn your whole way of living on its head, to incorporate this change into your life? You might be embarrassed to tell even your closest confidant that what means most to you sounds like a superficial reason for wanting to make this change. Fine. You don't need to tell anyone why you really want to make this resolution. You can tell them a perfectly rational, objective, even lofty reason. Just remember, when the going gets tough, and it will, you need a very strong, emotionally important reason to stay the course.

I know you can do it. You get up every day and face the world. You owe it to yourself to find a truly meaningful reason why you also deserve to live a healthier, wealthier life.


Captain Sharon Jentzer, USN (Ret.) founded the Jentzer Wellness Institute in response to the growing health care crises in the United States. She brings to wellness and life coaching her unique leadership experiences working with people around the world in fast-paced operational and highly technical settings. She is highly regarded for her leadership abilities and is often asked to assume leadership positions in the organizations of which she is a member. Her low-key, understated style suppor...

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