Sticking with resolutions
If the thought of selecting and a committing to a resolution within the next week has you feeling overwhelmed or pressured, personal development coach Kay Grossman, Leawood, offers her professional advice for navigating your way towards your own successful year of a New Year’s resolution.
Choose one main goal
“We all have multiple areas in which we can improve our lives. However, it is easy to be overwhelmed by setting too many goals. Pick one main goal at a time for a greater chance of success.” Grossman strongly recommends keeping a reminder handy of what your goal is and why you chose this particular goal. Also, remember to ask yourself if this goal is inspiring, or will this goal make a significant positive difference in your life?
Frame the goal with “approach-oriented” wording
“Language is powerful. Approach-oriented goals focus on reaching or maintaining positive outcomes,” says Grossman. Examples of how to frame a goal by using the approach-oriented wording include phrases such as “to be more effective or timely, to be more cheerful or friendly, achieve a healthy weight or create systems to keep the house well-enough organized for peaceful living.” Research suggests the positive wording leads to higher degree of success with goals. In contrast to approach-oriented wording is avoidance framing of goals. “Avoidance goals involve moving or staying away from undesired outcomes or states,” Grossman points out. Examples of this approach might include phrases such as “avoid procrastination, stop overeating or control the chaos in the house.”
“It is human nature to start new goals with a sense of exhilaration and then to lose steam as time passes. As the novelty wears off, our brains are less stimulated by thoughts of achieving the goal,” Grossman says. She encourages you stimulate your zest with posting inspiring symbols or photos of what your goal means to you, keeping a journal or marking a calendar with your progress, identifying your support system and using it when needed, and starting again with your goal if you experience a setback.
On the street
When I was unemployed for a year, I just made alterations to the clothes I had to make them look fresh. So I could probably go a year.
If you need a charge of encouragement or inspiration for your 2012 New Year’s resolution, look no further than Shari Quick.
When Jan. 1 arrives, Quick, a Lawrence resident, will be celebrating her 2011 New Year’s resolution by shopping at one of her favorite local boutiques, Spirit Girl, 1502 W 23rd St. She will be purchasing her first item of clothing (minus the undergarment necessities) since Dec. 21, 2010.
At the boutique, Quick will have her dear friend and supporter Carolyn Stewart by her side.
“Carolyn got a kick out of the no-clothes-buying resolution, She has been very supportive,” Quick said. “She is there to help me maintain my focus. I am going in with a monetary limit I am not going to exceed. That is my goal going forward. To be more purposeful in my spending.”
With support the support of her friends and a strong determination, Quick began her 2011 New Year’s Resolution when she honestly realized her average-sized closet that she shares with her husband Glen could not accommodate another purchase.
“The primary defining moment was when I went into my closet and I literally could not get another item in there,” she said.
There wasn’t an article of clothing in her closet she wasn’t wearing, but she realized at this moment she was just buying.
“At that point, I decided to check my checking account and see how much I had spent on clothes the last year.”
With her eyes open to the amount of money she had put towards clothing purchases, Quick uncovered her challenge for the New Year: “I’ve got to stop buying!”
A year later, she is able to reflect and share her personal experience with laughter and honesty.
During the early weeks of her resolution challenge, Quick put into place strategies to conquer any purchasing impulse, including sharing her resolution with friends and co-workers.
“I started telling people at the end of the year what I was planning. This held me accountable,” she said. “Friends thought I was crazy or I wouldn’t last. Another friend did it with me through tax season.”
Laughing, Quick even says a few of her friends’ husbands wished their spouses would take on a resolution such as hers.
Another strategy for Quick was keeping herself out of tempting shopping opportunities, such as home clothing parties or favorite stores. It wasn’t easy when she started.
“The first couple of weeks I would wake up from dreaming about shopping,” she said.
After the fourth month, the urge to shop or purchase a new item of clothing wasn’t there. One telling sign success was being made was when Quick had an event to attend in April and recycled one of her dresses from a previous year.
“At this point I had gone almost four months, and I was bound and determined I wasn’t going to stop.”
As Quick headed into the home stretch, she reflected on how her success has added to her list of valuable life lessons: “Be happy and content with what you have. Such an important lesson for all of us. Materialism and consumerism is not what happiness is about. Faith, family and friends are happiness for me.”
What does Quick have in mind for 2012?
“This year it is more of the traditional stuff. I do really well with exercise, I just want to ramp it up to the next level.”