Resolve – One thing at a time


This time of year, many of us are looking at our weight and trying to decide what to do about it. Do we need to put on more weight or take a few (dozen) pounds off? In either case, this is always one of the top New Year’s resolutions and has been since the invention of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (and other heavenly goodies).

But how do you really know if you’re overweight and that is not just your clothes’ that are shrinking? Well, if you’re like me, you do a little research and quickly find that happy little height/weight chart.

As an engineer, I am constantly looking at equations with the associated variables. This particular height/weight chart has only two variables – height and weight. Therefore I quickly came to the conclusion that it’s not my weight, but rather my height that needs to be adjusted. If I were only a couple of inches taller – all would be good and I’d immediately be in the “healthy” category.

I know this is silly and illogical, but for just a moment, let’s take a look at other areas of our life to see if we are being just as silly.

Can you change how your spouse talks to you or how your boss treats you? Can you change your co-workers, clients and other people you deal with on a daily basis? No, just like you can’t change your height.

However, if you want better relationships with those around you, there are a few things you can change that might actually make a difference. At least in you, if not in how others respond to you: Your thoughts, your actions, what you read, what you eat, what you drink and how you invest your time.

Pick twelve things you can actually control and create a game plan for your personal improvement. Make a list of what you will do or what you won’t do on each of them.

Now arrange one goal per month.

There is an old Roman proverb that goes “A man who chases two rabbits catches none”.  It’s also said that you can create a habit in 21 days.  So, attack the first item on your list for the month of January and create a new habit. Then, move on to your second item and create a new habit in February – all the while your first habit should be on autopilot with just a few nudges to keep it in the right direction.

My list of things that I want to change about myself is extensive. But I know that if I focus on just one area at a time, success in one area will give me the energy and excitement to press on to my other resolutions and by the end of the year, I will have improved at least twelve areas of my life.

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