Making your Resolutions Fun

It’s the first week of January. If you’re like most, you’ve already started to put your New Year’s Resolutions into action and are starting to feel, perhaps, a little less motivated than you did last week on December 31st. 

Maybe you resolved to lose weight and get in shape and this is the morning you find yourself making excuses to stay in bed rather than heading off to the gym. Maybe this is the year you’ve decided to find the man of your dreams and are starting to feel a disillusioned at the lack of prospects on the internet dating sites. For me, I’ve got a long list of resolutions and this is the year that I’m finally going to finish my novel. Last week I had no problem finding time to write. This week however, I notice my fire already starting to die down.

Starting a new year is kind of like running a race. At first, you’re all gung-ho and full of energy, determined to win. But after the first mile, you start to get a little tired. When I was a long-distance competitive runner, many of my former teammates would pull out these small packets full of energy gel and eat them along the way, while they were running, to keep up their energy.  Whenever I’ve run a 10K, there’s consistently a water stop after about the 2nd mile and one every mile thereafter.  Runners know what the rest of us sometimes forget-when you’re going to be going for awhile, you need your fuel.

What’s your fuel for keeping those New Year’s Resolutions?

What works for me is to consistently make meeting my goals seem as desirable as possible. Every time I do something that moves me in the direction of my goal, I sprinkle in a reward.

For example, take my novel-writing resolution. My weekly goal is to write for one hour on one day of the week. This is what I do. I schedule in my writing time into my calendar so that I make that committment to myself. Then, during my scheduled writing time, I go to my favorite coffee shop and buy my favorite coffee drink. Even before I get started, I’ve given myself the reward of beautiful ambiance and a nice little warm drink. I write for 10 minutes, then I give myself the reward of checking my daily horoscope. I then write for 30 more minutes and give myself the reward of going onto Facebook for 5 minutes. I write for 20 more minutes and then give myself the reward of listening to my favorite cd in my car as I drive home. So now I’ve written for one hour and I’ve programmed myself to look forward to this otherwise daunting resolution because I’ve set it up to be fun.

Now it’s your turn. Grab a fresh sheet of notebook paper. Take one of your New Year’s Resolutions and write it down. Underneath this resolution, come up with 10 ways that you could make this resolution more fun and/or more desirable in some way. These ways don’t have to be elaborate (in fact, simple works better). And these ways most certainly don’t have to cost money. Think of these as your fuel. Get creative. Ask friends for suggestions and ideas if you get stuck. Then schedule in a time in your calendar to work towards your resolution and employ at least 3 of these fun things the next time you start working towards your resolution.

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~ by projectlifedesign on January 7, 2010.

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