The word “resolution” comes from Middle English (first used in the 14th century) and Latin. “Re” means “again or back.” “Solvere” is the active present form meaning “to solve.” So we have the emphasis to go back and solve again or to solve again, again and again. A resolution consists of making a decision and engaging the will to do something.
Each discipline uses the term in a unique way. Organizations, for example, write, “Be it resolved to make the neighborhood green in 2011.” And, “Be it further resolved to eliminate use of plastic bags.”
Why do resolutions fail? Failure comes when we make them too broad, too vague and non-specific (i.e., do not measure nor establish a deadline). Example: “I resolve to lose weight in 2011.” This person will quickly fall off the chuck wagon.
The Coach's Success Toolbox
Dr. Robert M. Santry · Master Coach, Consultant, Trainer
How do resolutions succeed? Resolutions need a plan, an action and a habituation. What is the plan to make the neighborhood green? The action phase for weight loss may be reduce calories by 1,000 calories daily, lose one pound a week and conduct a weigh-in weekly.
Add habituation to action. A new habit requires between 21 to 30 days to take effect. Be sure to include a reward—a gift to yourself each week—and an award—an achievement recognition when you reach the goal.
Got resolutions? Write them down. Make them specific. Create a plan, take action and do it repetitively until it becomes a positive habit. Reward yourself along the way and award yourself when you achieve it.