Another part of our discussion on New Year’s Resolutions this week. I hope yours are coming along a treat! If not, I hope there is something here to inspire you to make that change you desire stick this year.

I want to start by looking at the language of the word ‘resolution’ itself.

New Year’s Resolution is a term that has become shared code for “this thing I do in January that I sorta kinda know won’t really last but I get really excited about for at least the first 4 days, then I just feel guilty and hope no one asks me about it”.

New Year’s resolutions have become a kind of collective joke we are all in on. We all go through the motions of discussing them together, and they sell a zillion magazines screaming about the “New Year! New You!” However, we start a resolution with the “oh well – at least you tried!” ringing in our ears almost before we start! No wonder the majority of resolutions fail at the first hurdle – our definition of resolution has become a communal byword for temporary intention.

Resolution is actually so much more than that.

Resolution means “the process of resolving a problem”.

It’s about being really honest and saying I have a problem that’s gone on for long enough – and I want a final resolution to it. It’s determination; a steadfastness; a firm choice. It’s putting a stake in the ground – this is a problem for me: I don’t want to live with it anymore: I am resolving it. It’s not about being interested in solving the problem. Or I kinda would like to have it go away. Or a want or a desire to have the problem solved, a “like to have”. It’s about resolving it will be so.

A resolution will fail unless it has true resolve at its core.

Resolve means doing whatever it takes. Resolve means re-prioritising. Resolve means change even if it’s uncomfortable. Resolve means saying no to something. Resolve means saying yes to something else. Resolve means This. Is. Happening. And I will make the rest of my life flow around it.

At the end of the day, the reason most New Year’s resolutions fade to grey within the first weeks or months is not that we don’t really, really want those things – but – that we intend and are interested in them happening more than we are absolutely resolved that they will occur. Essentially most New Year’s Resolutions are actually New Year’s Intentions in disguise.

An intention is easy to continue if the way ahead is clear and the sailing is smooth, but when the seas of life get stormy, you need that steely inner resolve to overcome bailing out when life gets busy. It is resolve that will keep going no matter what. It is true resolve that determines if you reach your destination come what may.

What’s at the heart of your resolution is mission critical. Is it a “like to have”, “interested in having” or is it true resolve? It’s a fundamental quality to know – the success of your resolution depends on it.

So, if your resolution has already slid quietly away, consider that perhaps it was not a resolution at all but an intention. That’s okay. It doesn’t have to be New Year’s Day for you to recommit – you can do it this very day. Start now. Resolve. Make it so.