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Keeping Up with New Year’s Resolutions

January 12, 2016 | ELIC

Making the list was easy, writing out your personal life goals for the next year was exhilarating, thinking through who we want to become in the next year was exhausting, and now back to the grind.

While we are still in the hopeful phases of our recent decisions for this year, now is a good time to analyze and implement ways we can hopefully convince ourselves to stick to our guns.
There is an episode of The Office where Pam makes a resolutions board for the whole office on a big poster board and asks everyone to write on a notecard their resolutions. It’s glittery, colorful, and on display for all to see.

The episode of course takes a turn and at one point Michael (the boss) is force-feeding Kevin (the larger employee who wants to eat healthier this year) raw broccoli, trees first.

How do we avoid choking down our broccoli trees first?

The last blog gave great advice for making personal vision statements, substantial goals, and realistic thoughts about how change actually happens. And while we are still ahead, let’s plan for the future to not get behind.

The life-cycle of change can be described in the life of a tree.

Roots & Habits

The roots of a tree are the life-blood, what keeps it alive. They need good soil, sunlight, to be watered, nurtured, and cared for.

Creating new habits is much the same, and can be remembered by the three T’s:

Trigger – a reminder that alerts you of the new habit

Transpire – the habit you are trying to remember to execute (okay, maybe a stretch, but at least you might remember it)

Treat – the reward for executing the thing

Trunks & Community

Life is not lived alone, and similarly, we usually cannot enforce change alone. We need people to keep us accountable, to ask us how our goal is coming along, and to engage in it with us. We need a support system, like the trunk of a tree.

Fruit & Change

Just like in the last blog post we talked about setting realistic goals and expecting gradual change, with well-watered roots and a solid trunk, eventually we will see the fruit of our labor. Whether it’s trying to be more positive and encouraging to those around us, reading something daily, or exercising more, we will begin to see the flowers blossom into fruit that is the desired change, habit, or resolution we set out to accomplish in 2017.

You got this. Find your tree, find your tribe, water your roots, stick to your guns, and be patient. The water will rise, but eventually we will swim.