Each new year I get requests for people wanting to start learning karate, which is great but sadly, many don’t last. From my experience in martial arts I have learned ways to keep at something over a long period of time, and have taught students to do the same. If you’ve started an activity for your New Years resolution, here are a few ways I suggest to try to make them a part of your life.
A. ATTITUDE: How you think about your resolution will matter greatly. Don’t think about it as a chore, but something you want to love doing. Just as people don’t love each other on the first date, you won’t immediately love the activity you’ve decided to do. To persevere we must to keep our eye on the prize, and by doing so, over time we will build a love for what we are doing. If it’s a type of exercise, there will be soreness or there will be elementary lessons one will have to repeat constantly to remember, this is when most people break. Tell yourself you’re not one of them. Press on. We must look past the immediate feelings. The endeavor must be pursued wholeheartedly.
There will always be things that prevent you from keeping your plans exactly as you’ve made them, but with the right attitude, you will find a way to keep pressing on.
B. A YEARLONG RESOLUTION IS TOO MUCH: As stated, things will happen that will change your circumstances, so you will have to adapt. One thing most people can control are the thoughts we have now, and with an “attitude” that is one of “pressing on” we will force ourselves to do it NOW. Don’t think of the resolution as a “year” but a “NOW RESOLUTION.”
What you think NOW, will dictate a WANT. The WANT will lead to an ACTION, our ACTIONS will develop into a HABIT and our HABITS will develop our LIFESTYLE. So it all begins with one thought. We can’t think or worry about if we can keep the resolution for a year, we must look at what we are doing NOW, and by having the ATTITUDE of keeping our eye on the prize, TODAY we will keep our resolution.
C. PRAYER: In a society that focuses on the tangible things, it is becoming harder with each generation to believe in the things we can’t see or touch. Abraham Lincoln said, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first 6 hours sharpening my ax.” Prayer can be compared to this quote, prayer will empower you to have the proper “attitude” to keep your “now resolution,” it will sharpen your ax.
Myself, being a Believer in Jesus Christ, I place my worries and thoughts in His hands, and pray for Him to guide the desires of my heart. I understand many don’t believe in any God, or believe in different God(s), but everyone has to know that an inner consciousness does exist and we are made of more than just flesh and bones - there is a whole other dimension within ourselves, a spiritual dimension, that shapes who we are. If you are not a believer, prayer may seem idiotic, but these arrogant thoughts will hinder you from humbling yourself and keep you from doing the menial tasks that will be needed to keep your resolution. Don’t let pride stop you from doing something you can actually be proud of.
I personally believe prayer is the best tool we have to accomplish anything.
SUMMARY: As humans, we all have faults and we should strive to have desires that improve ourselves on a daily basis and this is done hour by hour, minute by minute. I don’t write this as someone who has mastered life, but is on a journey just like everyone else. I have faults and bad characteristics the same as everyone, and some of them are worse than what others may have, but I try to keep the attitude that the things I want to do are not "New Year Resolutions," but “Daily Resolutions” and sometimes “Minute Resolutions” or more important, "Now Resolutions." When I fall short, I keep pressing on. My hope is that 2013 is filled with people fulfilling resolutions that they never thought possible.