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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating From the Inside Out > 66

Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Relationship Resolutions

When most of us thought about or wrote out our New Year’s Resolutions back in January, while many of our goals may have been reasonable, a great many of them, may have been unrealistic, in the long run. The reality, is that when structuring our objectives, most of us seem to focus on the event of creating resolutions, rather than the actual goals we wish to accomplish.

As a result, the resolution becomes an all or nothing proposition, complete with unreasonable expectations. This serves to create a situation where it becomes nearly impossible to confront the goals, let alone actually take steps to make them come into fruition.

 

It has been reported, that when really serious about keeping resolutions, that selecting objectives on other days besides New Years, is actually a much more successful action than doing it on New Years.

The theory behind this, is that there is too much pressure on the first of the year, and it is a much more daunting task, to even confront goals, let alone actually try to accomplish them at the very beginning of the year, when so many other activities abound. Dealing with the ending of so many things, from the year itself, to career deadlines (many of which may actually consist of the last year’s goals, social and family activities, and a plethora of other situations), is enough – and trying to add “new” tasks, that have to do with the year ahead, just seems too overwhelming to many people. And yet, this is the time of year that many people think of goals – largely because of the “New Year’s Resolution” phenomenon itself. Were it not for New Years – it just may be, that many people would never even think to address the next year’s goals. Of course, doing something anytime, is better than doing nothing at all.

A different way to approach the issue of goal-setting, may be to reflect on what occurred in the last year, list out what was accomplished, and then work ahead from there – to develop new goals. That way, it may seem more as though something relevant was actually have already been accomplished; making it more realistic that new goals can also be achieved. That having been said, still, when goals are confronted and devised as a ritual for the New Year, it can still be a tremendous burden for many people.

By beginning the task earlier, we can get a jump start on the whole process, and eliminate the rush of it all, or the chance that it may all be abandoned, by the middle of January, or the next month.

The reality is that goal setting is an evolving enterprise and should be a regular process, if it is to be effective. Trying to do everything on one day, in one week, or even a month, can defeat the purpose, since it is hard to figure out all that is desired to accomplish on various levels of life, all at one time. Given that there are so many components to life, from health, family, relationships, career, environment, mankind, etc., it would seem that it would make a lot more sense to have a systematic approach to developing plans around each important area that needs to be addressed. Much like in a corporate or work environment, time spent planning, is usually time well spent.

It has been reported by various specialty goal setters, that addressing goals on an ordinary day of the year, rather then simply using the “New Year’s Resolution” theme, is far more effective in the long run. By “waiting for the right time,” or a specifically designed day to confront goals, we can easily set ourselves up for failure, right at the outset. Our society is so instant-gratification oriented, that often, we quickly give up if immediate progress or improvements do not surface readily.

Since the best way to improve almost any situation, is one minute at a time, one hour at a time and one day at a time, it is generally acceptable if merely one minute, hour or day winds up to somehow becoming mishandled. Adjusting to this system, allows us to begin again the next time accordingly. Improving interpersonal relationships is not like many other goals – in that, it is not necessary to wait long periods of time to see results. Usually, by activating a social plan, nearly immediately, we can begin to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

A simple action such as joining a group, can garner a positive reaction, to give you confidence and motivation to press on and continue. Realistically, just by implementing basic thoughts and ideas, one can reap the positive effects, when it comes to social goals.

By thinking smaller, studies have shown, over the course of a lifetime, goals are easier to accomplish. When making a resolution, you essentially promise yourself to focus attention on the end result, while facing each step along the way. By dividing up each relationship goal (sometimes called “chunking”) into small, more manageable steps, we can make much greater strides towards keeping relationship resolutions.

Another good tactic is to make a list and check it at least twice a day. In fact, the more handy you can keep it near you, in an organizer, or on a computer desktop, for example, the more likely you will be to actually take part in the steps listed, or do something toward a goal.

Making the list as specific and concrete as possible, breaking each resolution up, you can then keep track of progress and check off each item as it is completed. For example, goals and resolutions that tend to be more romantic, can be too vague, and may be hard to pinpoint enough to actually assign a task to. Therefore, it is important to be as specific as possible, so that each item can be tackled. Choose one item, and then list specific activities to work on in that area. Be sure to list the specific goal, as well, so that is clear when it is achieved.

Realizing that we have all tried and failed to do something (often something like dieting or exercising) - which was often something that we knew we needed to do, yet didn't really want to do, the next time we gather up the motivation to try again, we use may try new tactics.

Lastly, one of the simplest, most effective techniques, yet one that is rarely used – is to ask for help. For example, it can be a good idea to share resolutions with friends or a buddy, much like you might do in an exercise program.

Using the buddy system can not only give us a much better chance to help ourselves, but others, too. You may find that friends or family that you enlist in your relationship quest can be very helpful. They can be used as sounding boards, and also may even be a good networking source.

All of the above tactics can each help stack the deck in your favor in the attainment of relationship goals. When drafting goals and resolutions, write them out in such a way that no matter what the outcome, you can “win.” For example, try to have multiple, positive and possible goal outcomes. By doing this, various scenarios can serve as reference points in measured results. This will ensure that you are in control of at least one scenario, so that there is no way to “lose,” which will serve to foster motivation.

In addition, while accomplishing goals will elevate your spirits and serve to inspire, be realistic enough to know that a goal or resolution, in and of itself, is not a solution to whatever relationship situation you wish to accomplish. But rather, it is the process of getting there that will be the most gratifying. Enjoy the process, and you may find that no matter what the outcome, eventually, you will find the kind of contentment that interpersonal relationships can help create in your life. Before beginning, realize that regardless of how many obstacles or setbacks that may be encountered, continuing on with confidence, will be the most powerful aspect of the process.



Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.


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