4 (highly researched) New Years Resolutions for 2014

4 (highly researched) New Years Resolutions for 2014

New Years List2If you are a fan of Facebook, then it may seem to you as if everyone starts out the new year with one or two resolutions. A lot of folks seem to be talking about what they want to do differently starting January 1. But, according to time management firm Franklin Covey, statistics show that most people do not carry out their resolutions. In fact, one third of those who start out strong will have stopped this new activity by February.

One reason for this is that most people are not explicit about their goals. They haven’t verbalized them to family or friends, and they have not written them down. It’s just too easy to forget. I’m wondering too if the goal just wasn’t the kind that would make any real change in their life, so they gave up.

My own resolutions for 2014 didn’t include adding something; they included letting go of some things. You see I had been pushing myself so hard (and if you read my last post, you know exactly what I mean by that), that I had to resolve to stop some of my activities, or at least slow them down.

But that’s all right. I am still moving forward. I accept where I am at while continuing to move towards change (that’s called a dialectic). No judgment allowed.

All this talk about resolutions got me thinking about you, and whether or not you have added any New Years resolutions to what may already be a full plate.

If not, I’ve got a suggestion for you. I am going to offer four resolutions that, according to decades of research, will help you build a life worth living. That’s certainly more intriguing than just having a better year in 2014 than you did in 2013! Here they are:

  •  1. Gaining more control over your thought life.
  • 2. Not being as impulsive when you are feeling like you’re having a crisis.
  • 3. Gaining more control over your emotions.
  • 4. Developing healthier relationships with others.

Wow…those seem like very overwhelming resolutions, don’t they? How would one even start working on any of that?

That’s where I come in. These goals are part of a system of skills called Dialectical Behavior Skills (DBT Skills). They have been highly researched and are effective for those of us unfortunate enough to be a) born with a highly reactive brain b) suffered trauma and neglect in childhood c) both a and b and maybe much more.

The skills are simple, but they need to be exercised as if you are building up your muscles at the gym. The more you work out, the better you get. The better you get, the brighter your life becomes.

I am going to be writing about these skills here on the blog in all of 2014 and beyond. Check back often, or better yet, sign up for automatic updates. An online course that helps you systematically learn the skills as well as interact with others in a private Facebook group page is coming soon (hey, we’re all in this together). I’ll let you know as soon as that’s available. I’m working hard to make it very special and fun.

Marsha Linehan, researcher and developer of dialectical behavior therapy, would say these skills help you “build a life worth living.” I happen to agree, and again, if you’ve read my last blog post, you know why (wink).

In the meantime, take good care of you!


Did you make any New Years resolutions? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s be part of the conversation!

4 thoughts on “4 (highly researched) New Years Resolutions for 2014

  1. Hi Sheryl. You make a good point. That’s also why mine were to “not” do some of the things I was doing rather than the other way around. When I was suffering from so much anxiety and depression, I didn’t know anything about how to get better. When I later learned about DBT Skills, I realized that the very things taught in this format were the things that helped me along the way…only it took WAY longer since I was just learning things on my own. So I guess I would say that this isn’t really a resolution after all…it’s a way to feel better in the long haul. Let me know if I can help. Thanks for leaving a comment, Sheryl. I really appreciate that!

  2. Linda, I’m not a resolution person….I didn’t make any this year and don’t remember every making one. But as I have been transforming myself the last couple of years I have learned the importance, and fun, of trying new things. So here we go!

    Daily, I’ve been writing haiku and posting them online – today is day 161. So it didn’t surprise me when a couple of haiku came to me a few weeks ago as I was driving to work listening to blues on satellite radio. The extremely abbreviated version of the story is I saw a connection between the structure of 12 bar blues and haiku, and began writing “bluku”, which combines the two.

    My intuition went wild, strongly telling me to pursue bluku, and develop the connection between the two. It won’t be difficult as I love blues, as well as Japanese poetry and visual arts. They are very different, and express two very different parts of me.

    I have been showing my bluku to in person and cyberspace friends, and mostly get no reaction. I mean NO reaction. However, I did get “interesting comments from a couple of people, including “you should sing them” and “I see a character emerging”. He mentioned Borat – not that the character is like Bora,t but that it is fictional, on the surface very different from me.

    I feel this samurai bluesman trying to get out. So I’m going to let him. My resolution is this year I will produce a YouTube video of this character performing. This character will perform in costume etc.

    This video will push me miles into my discomfort zone.

    1. Donald…that is incredible! I gotta tell you..doing video is going to push me miles into my discomfort zone too. Let’s encourage each other. Thanks for telling me about bluku! I love it!

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