Each year, millions of people make a new years resolution. Usually it’s something that tries to correct previous bad behavior, perhaps losing weight or quitting smoking. Or maybe they want to try something they have long put off, such as taking an airplane trip or writing a book. All of these are laudable goals. But 99.99% of all resolutions fall short or are only temporary; you quit smoking for a month or two but gain weight and start smoking again (two resolutions busted in one stroke!).
I think the keys to achieving resolutions are two things:
Don’t make them too big to attain and make them things that you would do forever. For example: quitting smoking is certainly worth doing for a lifetime but may be too much to effectively do cold-turkey.
Let me be so bold as to suggest a resolution for you that will be both attainable and worth doing the rest of your life: focus on responding versus reacting. In any given situation, we only control what we do, what we say. We have no control over anything anyone else may do or say.
So seize that control by looking at every situation and saying “What is the outcome that I would like to achieve” and then thoughtfully crafting a response that would achieve the outcome you desire. It may be that after careful consideration, you wind up doing what your initial reaction would have been. But in the vast majority of situations, when you thoughtfully work through the options you have for action or words, you create a response that is very different from your initial reaction.
Now know this, just because you responded versus reacted will the other party act in accordance with your wishes. Remember, you don’t control them, only you! But you have power in knowing that no one can “make” you act or say anything. You have the ability to craft your response in thought and deed in every given situation and don’t ever, ever give up that power. Happy New Year!