Solution to the Resolutions problem

OK, here is how I solved the problem of not making and keeping agreements (see resolutions) with myself: I created a shorter term “Monthly Personal Agreements” system that only bit off the period from the first Sunday of a month to the first Sunday of the next month (and all first Sundays were considered “personal agreement holidays” where you could keep them or not as you like.

I try to keep it to only 3 agreements, and include at least one that is proactive and at least one that is a ‘letting go’ thing. I write it up in a little contract with myself on the first Sunday of each month. First, I take a few minutes to estimate how well I had done in keeping the 3 agmts, making sure to give myself lots of credit for 90% rather than faulting myself for being less than perfect. In such cases, where I fall short of perfection, I generally renew that item for another month (it took me five months to get perfect on quitting smoking, for instance).

In the beginning I would include some things that I was absolutely sure I could pull of for 30 days. For example, 20 years ago I was flying a lot on business, and I would generally have a beer or glass of wine on a long flight. So, without any particular reason other than experiencing 100% success in keeping an agreement with myself (and the increased self-trust and confidence that experience could bring), I made monthly agreements to forego alcoholic beverages on airplanes. Even though it was not big thing in and of itself, it actually did make me feel good about myself just to make an agreement and keep it!

I create a little contract for myself, that I edit anew on each first Sunday. Mine starts like this: “Dear Higher-Self, I call upon you to be my Support as I make the following agreements with my Self ? to be in effect from now until the first Sunday of next month.”

I would then list my three agreements and close like this: “I agree that, should I falter, I will not use that as an excuse to slide further, but will pick myself up and get back on track according to this agreement. And, thank you, Higher Self, for your support. With Your help, I know I can keep these Agreements easily” … or something like that (getting the gratitude part in there).

I couldn’t agree more with Michealle’s comment (to previous posting) about maintaining “beginner’s mind” (great book, btw) and being willing to start over and over again. You can see from my quote above, that is an integral part of my approach too … never give up!

I would print out my Monthly Agreement and cut it onto a small piece of paper I’d sign, fold and carry in my wallet. I hardly ever needed to look at it, but just knowing it was there helped a lot. Even though the first Sunday of January is past, you can start anytime you want. Good luck!