One of our daughter's favorite songs when she was little was from the Disney movie Cinderella. In her three year old voice, she would walk around singing, a dream is a wish your heart makes, when you're fast asleep. Many of us make New Year's wishes instead of New Year's resolutions. What about you?
A wish and a resolution are two very different things. A wish can be defined as a specific feeling of desire you want to come true. As the song expresses, a dream is a wish your heart makes and many times dreams don't come true. A resolution on the other hand is the decision to do something differently or to behave in a certain manner. A wish is nothing more than a dream without the resolution to make it come true. It requires a concrete decision regarding what you need to do differently and a plan to help you behave in a specific manner. You have to know what you want to do differently or how you need to behave if you want to achieve a specific goal or outcome. Identifying what needs to change is your first step to establishing a resolution that will allow your wish to come true. Confusing?
Perhaps looking at an example will help.
One popular New Year's resolution is to lose weight. Many times these 'wishes' don't come true because there is no actual resolution to make that wish of weight loss come true. No concrete decision to change or commitment to behave in a different manner. So if your "wish" for 2009 is to lose weight, what do you need to resolve to make it come true? Do you need to focus on portion sizes at meals and snacks? Perhaps you need to know what the right calorie intake range is for you. Maybe you know the right level you should be eating but need to learn how to stay within the range. Perhaps you need to increase your activity level. You can't commit to a change if you don't know what needs to be changed. Likewise, if you know what needs to change but make no concrete decision to behave in a different manner, your wish will stay just that.
Decide what two to three wishes your heart desires for 2009 and write them down. Now look at what you specifically need to do differently to make each of those wishes come true. Finally, resolve to the specific action steps and behaviors necessary to make the changes you have identified which will make your wishes come true. Don't avoid setting a New Year's resolution or making your resolution simply a wish that you don't expect to come true. Instead, resolve to make several of your wishes come true in 2009. List your 3 wishes and how you resolve to make them come true. Then do it!
My wishes for 2009 are to 1) redecorate my dining room, 2) take the family to New York City and 3) run in at least one race. To make my wishes come true, I resolve to 1) set time and money aside each month for the dining room project until it is complete, 2) change my weekly/monthly budget as necessary to save money for our trip while planning a trip based on the money saved, and 3) eat, exercise and live a Spark life that allows me to be at the fitness level necessary to run in a race.
How about you? What are your 3 wishes for 2009? What do you resolve to make them come true?
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