Resolution, not Dissolution

In a sport as cerebral as sailing, there’s a certain psychological self-awareness needed in order to stay motivated while on the racing circuit. The sailor needs to understand how each event—each piece of their campaign—fits into the larger picture to remember why they are going through the campaign in the first place. It often helps to remind ourselves why we work so hard at it, whether we’re pursuing a major championship down the line, or just enjoying each race as it comes. Without genuinely wanting to be at a regatta and feeling that they need to be there, a sailor who’s been on the road a little too long can find their motivation waning and performance suffering. Keeping motivation up is just as important off the water, whenever we set a challenging goal.

With the arrival of the New Year, people everywhere have set their New Year’s Resolution, that promise we make to ourselves intended to serve as a basis for our personal growth. Resolutions, like any goal, are often a considerable mental challenge. All too often, resolution turns to dissolution as we instinctively return to our normal routines and habits and lose sight of our objective, often in the first few weeks. The motivation to keep at the new challenge gets lost when we start to feel that the costs are outweighing the benefits and our efforts aren’t paying off. To have the patience and will to push through those rough moments, we need to know why we set off on our goal in the first place, and why it matters to us.

We put a lot of thought into the “what” and the “how” of our new goals, but the “why” is often lost in the process. Remember that “resolution” by definition refers to one’s will and determination. It therefore wouldn’t make sense to set a goal that wasn’t genuinely important to you. Too many people set Resolutions out of feelings of guilt or a sense of obligation, rather than pursuing what they genuinely want out of themselves and out of life, but goals should be a reflection of our own desires, not of anyone else’s. When we are most determined to accomplish something, it’s because we really care about it, so make sure that your Resolution is something that you feel in your heart is necessary and/or rewarding.

Your New Year’s Resolution, like any worthy goal, should be something that you really want and need for your life. When you can stay genuinely and enthusiastically connected to your goal, keeping after it doesn’t seem like such a chore. Your Resolution may present a difficult challenge, but if you treat it as a campaign with an attainable objective that truly appeals to you, your odds of success will be greatly improved.

Good Sailing!

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