Tuesday, January 6, 2009

21 Days

If you are a member of the human population (most likely) then you have either committed to a new habit as a new year's resolution, or entirely rejected the resolution concept postulating that you can commit to anything, anytime regardless of the calendar date. It's my experience that we fall into one or the other. Most likely, if you have set a resolution, then it is one of the following:
1. Get fit/Lose weight- this is the number one resolution to make each year, and I bet that many of us make this one every single new years. Even enjoying one or two more pints on December 31 just because you're going cold turkey the next day.
2. Reduce debt- normally I would say this would be lower down the list of common resolutions, but I'm placing it at second place because of the current recessional climate. Isn't this one ironic, considering all those Christmas presents you just bought weeks ago are sitting on that credit card? And won't you do the same next year to ensure little daughter Mabel gets her pony or son Dustin gets his Wii?
3. Start saving- related to the previous resolution and very common. My dad always said to have 3 months living expenses in cash saved up just in case. How many of us have that kind of cash (not credit!) available?
4. Devotion- spending more time with God, Allah, your inner divine presence (whatever you subscribe to). This can include joining a church young adult group, meditation or even daily Yoga practice.
5. Spending more time with family and friends- I hope that this one caught a lot of us this year. I'm currently reading a book that suggests that making and cultivating positive relationships is the purpose of the human species. So use those bipedal hips and walk over to see your neighbor.
Now if yours is not listed, share it in the comment section. There are many changes we could make; what an exciting time of year to be able to recommit to them. For those of you who eschew making resolutions, make today that day you commit- doesn't matter what calendar day it is right?
Now whatever you have chosen:
1. Practice it for 21 days straight- it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Take a 21 day challenge to do 10 minutes of yoga a day, for example. Or pack your lunch to work for 3 straight weeks.
2. Make it Applicable to your current lifestyle. I may say I want to write a book this year, but as I'm currently focused on a professional career, and master's degree a book is outside my sphere of focus. Instead, I'll focus on developing a professional leadership blog.
3. Ensure it is Realistic in light of your resource supply; it should comfortably fit within your time and money available to you. Do not stretch yourself to afford a pricey personal trainer, instead enroll in group fitness classes as an example.

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