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NICHOLAS MERCER: Finding the resolve to resolve

Sticking with a resolution isn’t easy. It takes great resolve to make that first change.
Sticking with a resolution isn’t easy. It takes great resolve to make that first change. - 123RF Stock Photo

I used to make resolutions for the New Year. 

Every Jan. 1, I’d make some pledge about cutting back on one thing or increasing the time I spent at another thing.

Inevitably a week would pass, and I’d slowly find myself falling off the wagon.

I’d take a day off here and there, while always making an oath to get right back to the plan the next day.

Those days off would stretch to two days. Then, three days and so on.

Suddenly, it is February and you’re back to where you started jamming every piece of delicious morsel of chocolate that you can find into your gob.

It’d happen every time to me, and probably a lot of other people who made resolutions.

So, I stopped making them. I never stuck by them and it just felt like a lot of wasted time.

Eventually, it was easier to think about possible resolutions then to actually take the time to see them through.

I found it better to chuckle at the thought of cutting soft drinks out of my diet and then let those thoughts escape like air from a balloon at the distinctive crackle of a pop can being opened.

It happened for the last couple of years.

I got more pleasure out of the thought of a possible New Year resolution then I did in actually seeing the resolution through.

It is easy to quit something.

You just give it up. There is nothing to it.

People do it all the time. Something gets uncomfortable or gets hard and people quit.

It happens in sports, work and at home.

You start to accept that what you have is what you will always have.

It takes resolve to stick with something that disrupts the rhythm you’ve taken years to establish.

Making a New Year’s resolution is making a bet on yourself … almost.

You’re betting that you can successfully change the way you think and behave. You’re betting that you are as a dedicated person as you expect you are.

If you can’t win the bet, you’ve lost. You are a loser.

That grinds on people. After years of losing that bet, you’re banking on it being the same thing year after year.

Basically, you become the Cleveland Browns of New Year’s resolutions.

And, that is where I am.

I don’t make resolutions because I lose at keeping them and I hate losing.

Not this year though. This time it’ll be different — that is what the Cleveland Browns think as well — and I’ve unlocked the key to everything.

Dedicate yourself to making a change. Any change.

It doesn’t have to be specific or even gigantic.

Just say to yourself, “Today, I’m going to be a better person than I was last year.”

That could be something as simple as holding the door open for the person behind you or eating fewer helpings of turkey dinner on Sundays.

One step at a time.

The path to being better isn’t always taking giant leaps.

Now, all of this probably looks like a bunch of self-help gibberish.

To some, it probably looks like a person throwing themselves at the feet of others and looking for pity.

I’m just trying to say that resolutions aren’t as easy as they sound. Once spoken, they don’t just happen.

You don’t just lose that extra weight overnight.

Because they aren’t easy, people don’t complete them.

Finding the resolve to make a resolution is the first step.

After that, keeping everything simple is the next one.

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