Principles vs Resolutions

Happy New Year!

CrossFit Roseville will be closed on Wednesday January 1, 2013. 

Regular Schedule resumes on Thursday January 2, 2014.


Principles vs Resolutions

It’s that time of year again – time for ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. How about something different this year? Resolutions can easily become just another item on a to do or not to do list. Just another task to succeed or fail at.  If it was too easy, it didn’t make much difference. If it was too hard, it ended up being another missed target.

Look deeper, underneath the new year’s resolution, into the principle that drives the resolution. If you only focus on the ‘resolution’, then when you experience a set back the tendency is to drop the resolution. You may even feel guilt over not being able to stick to it. But if you focus on the principle behind the resolution it is easier to keep moving forward even if you experience a setback. Progress is very typically 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Focusing on the principle instead of a rigid resolution allows for this varied progress, allows for flexibility, and allows you to be creative in your pursuit of the principle.

For example, a typical new years resolution is: “I will go to the gym 3 days a week.” Typically from someone who hasn’t gone even once in the 2, 3, or 18 months prior. Chance for success for this person is not high. This resolution usually lasts 2-3 weeks, maybe 6-8 for the extra determined. The first week they don’t make it 3 times, they feel like they failed. Then what happens……usually the revert back to their previous patterns.

Instead of making the 3x a week resolution, focus on the principle behind the resolution, which in this case is Consistent Exercise. Instead of saying, “I will got the gym 3 days a week”, you now say, “In 2014, I will continue to make consistent exercise a part of my life.”  Attending the gym 3 x a week now is a tool you use to a follow a greater principle. The activity becomes a way to integrate the principle into your life. Then, if you only go twice in a week, it’s okay, you are still making progress, and you don’t need to abandon the effort or feel guilty. You are still integrating the principle into your life and making progress towards the goal. If you find that a schedule change or logistical challenge prevents you from being able to go to a gym 3x a week, you now have to get creative and find other ways to get ‘Exercise’ into your life. The plan may have to change, but the principle is still guiding the effort.

Last year I focused on one thing – simplifying my life. For me that meant less technology, less clutter, less busyness, less spending/buying, and less drama. Instead of trying to follow 50 blogs, I followed only 20. I focused on this 1 principle in every area of my life. I asked myself questions like this, “Is this going to complicate or simplify my life?”

Focus on principles that can give you direction. Then you can evaluate each activity or decision in relation to that principle. When you will focus on a theme or principle, it can be a measuring stick and help you evaluate the effectiveness of an activity to move you toward that.

The fewer the better, keep it simple.

Examples of Principles for Living

1. Simplify
2. Organize (possessions, schedule, thoughts, goals)
3. Developing Friendships
4. Clean Eating
5. Regular Exercise
6. Discipline
7. Time with Family
8. Spiritual Growth
9. Parenting
10. Personal Development
11. Healing (physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual)
12. Play
13. Creativity
14. Travel
15. Saving Money
16. Service
17. Preparation
18. Duty
19. Write/Compose/Perform/Paint/Photograph

What else? This is by no means a complete list. This is my brainstorming.

Chances are, one principle, one word, one idea stands out to you. Don’t grab 5, 10, or say they are all good. That will not work. Pick 1-3 principles that stands out to you, focus, then let it start driving your days, months, and your 2014.

You don’t have to figure this out by January 1. You may need several days or weeks to pray, ponder, and get inspired. If you will take the time to do some reflection, self-evaluation, and examine your priorities you will find a theme or principle that can drive you forward in 2014. If you know what principles will be driving your efforts in 2014, share it in the comments.


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