Resolution vs. declaration in 2011

Posted 12/28/10

Kent PaulSpecial to CCN When is the last time you made a New Year’s resolution and actually followed through with it, to the point that it changed …

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Resolution vs. declaration in 2011


Kent PaulSpecial to CCN

When is the last time you made a New Year’s resolution and actually followed through with it, to the point that it changed your life in some way permanently?

If you are like most Americans, the answer is never.

Over 100,000,000 people in the United States make the traditional “New Year’s resolution” every year, and nearly half of those people quit or fail at their goal within the first 30 days. The top three resolutions in America are to lose weight, get fit and healthy, to quit smoking and to change finances.

I have been coaching people in the health and fitness business for more than 16 years, and every year, I’m overwhelmed in January by people who say, “This is the year I am going to change and my New Year goal is … ” The problem with this emotional American tradition is that people do not understand that resolutions do not work.

What does work are declarations. What is the difference you may ask? My definition of resolution is the verbal express of intent for change. My definition of declaration is the formal, explicit written announcement for committed plan of action resulting in change. In other words, resolution is wanting something and declaration is committed to action resulting in change.

I always have my clients write down what they are committed to doing and announce it to their friends and family. If you just blurt out what you want in 2011, that just says you want something like everyone else in the world who wants something. And let's face it, we all want things in life, but only the committed usually get it.

We all have to understand how humans work when it comes to change. Most people run to pleasure and avoid pain as much as possible. The reason you are where you are is because its familiar or comfortable, even if the result is misery. I had a client a few years back who was 475 pounds, diabetic and on medication to control blood pressure. Doctors told him that he would not live another 15 years if he continued living the life he was at the time.

I put him on my program, and he agreed to change his habits and behavior, because he knew he needed to. After a few months of working with him and not losing weight, I sat down and had a heart to heart with him, and he finally confessed he just wasn’t committed to change. He liked his lifestyle and was not presently facing life or death, so it was too hard to change anything, even though the doctor already told him he would die an early death. He did not see it necessary to change his comfortable lifestyle. His pain-to-comfort ratio was way off.

Most people need to get to a place where the pain of staying where you are in life is greater than the pain of change. People who can have a declaration and not a resolution are those who can look inside themselves and say, it’s too painful to stay where I am in life. So, I ask you, where is your pain-to-pleasure ratio?

When clients tell me their goals, the first thing I ask them is, do you want to reach your goals or are you committed to reaching your goals? The difference is not allowing failure as an option. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, then you surrender yourself to a proven system, follow what is instructed, be held accountable and do not give up until you lose those 20 pounds. As long as you do not give up, you will never fail. All I ask of my clients is progress not perfection.

Average people procrastinate and accept mediocrity, winners commit to progress and never giving up.

Next week, I will tell you how to put your new declaration into action to have a breakout year in 2011.

Kent Paul is a former Mr. Colorado (1998) and the owner and proprietor of the Turbo Training Fitness Center. He can be reached at


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