Resolve: Have It, Use It

By January 3, 2013Millennial

The resolution time of the year has arrived. During the beginning of each year, we begin to say by saying “I resolve to _________”. We even may write out what we resolve to do.

We resolve to:

  • Do differently
  • Do more
  • Do less
  • Do this
  • Do that

Although I believe in making principles and values a verb, in this case, a noun may be better. We need to have resolve.

Resolve: Have it, Use itWe need to have resolve to:

  • Stand up when a wrong needs to be righted
  • Step up when challenges arise
  • Step in when things get off track
  • Speak up when a voice of reason needs to be heard
  • Pierce through cluttered words to uncover the truth

Resolve is straightening our backbone when things weigh us down, when we begin to wear out, when we become overwhelmed….

Yes, we need:

  • Goals
  • Plans
  • Principles
  • Philosophies

Yet, without resolve, they become just words sitting in some device, resting in our pocket.

Resolve is:

  • A stiffened upper lip
  • A soul inspired
  • A firm grasp on the work required
  • A gleam in our eyes on the possibilities to turn into new, better realities

Resolve is something that lasts beyond January. Its presence is evident most days of every month.

In the year ahead, do more than resolve, have resolve. It is an important twist to resolve; it is an unlife life way.

Clear eyes. Spirited plans. A strong dash of resolve will fortify you in your purposeful work ahead.

Flex your resolve, and use it fully.


Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Ali Davies says:

    Important to remember that our level of resolve doesn’t stay constant. Like willpower and self discipline it can ebb and flow depending on all sorts of things and circumstances. If we think of it as a muscle it needs exercising, regular commitment and plans for doing the things that nurture it, keep it strong and maintain our resolve muscle as fit as possible to serve us well.

    • Jon M says:

      Some great key points, Ali. Comparing it to a muscle is a good one, as using it will strengthen it further. This will enable us to better weather the more challenging times, too. Thanks for adding your insight! Jon

  • blogbrevity says:

    Thank you, Jon. Maybe “resolve” is a tool to help overcome fear, which is why it is often hard to step up and stand up. 🙂

    • Jon M says:

      Good point, Angela. Embracing our resolve to act is overcoming fears we have. We need that spirit-based trigger to convert our resolve into taking the steps…. Interesting thought you sparked (as usual)! Thanks. Jon

  • Alli Polin says:

    I appreciate this post, Jon! It makes action towards our goals more of a choice that is in our power than a resolution. You have also planted the seed that resolve is about making changes beyond the long list of things I want to change about myself. It’s about the resolve to do what’s right and make an impact in the world. Gets me thinking in new ways – which I love. Thank you!

    • Jon M says:

      Thanks, Alli, for your comments. Having staying power and stand-up power is what will enable our choices to become real difference-makers. Thanks again! Jon

  • Nice, timely post to start a new year, Jon! I especially like the ideas of “a soul inspired” and “spirited plans.” Often times, when we try to force things to happen, that’s not inspired action. When action comes from integrity and purpose, it takes on higher vibration. This reminds me of something I read recently about the difference between motivation and inspiration. We seek motivation for something we don’t ultimately want to do. When we allow inspiration to flow, it comes from our center, our purpose. That’s why I like what you wrote about resolve being “inspired” and “spirited,” rather than forced, which makes it untenable and vulnerable. Happy New Year!

    • Jon M says:

      Great points, Alice. Flow is a vital component, as it really does come from our purpose and soul. Being centered creates purpose-filled actions and, ultimately, flow. Having resolve keeps us moving forward when challenges hit or we feel the wear of what we are doing.

      Really appreciate the added perspective. Grateful! Jon

  • Dallas Bragg says:

    Very, very good words, Jon. I can’t help thinking of the word “Resilience”. Coming to the true realization that our reaction to circumstances matters so much more than what happens to us is such an enlightenment. It is thinking about how you are thinking…making a decision to be a certain way…

    Thank you.

    • Jon M says:

      Great points, Dallas. Resilience is a part of the staying power, and resolve may be the action to begin the process of standing and speaking up. We may need to focus a little more on having resolve and resilience than just resolutions. Either way, we need to make our goals come alive each month and day. Thanks again! Jon

  • I agree Jon, everything else is empty words without resolve. We too often forget about the power of our will. “Will power” used to be a much more commonly used phrase years ago than it seems to be now. We’ve got it. We need to use it.

    • Jon M says:

      Great points, Lori. Maybe it is a generational thing, but “will power” was more of a common theme. It is one to re-engage, as it is what will empower our goals forward… especially in challenging times. Really appreciate your comment! Jon

  • Betsy Cross says:

    Interesting. Does it make sense to say that once one has resolve the next step is commitment?

    • Jon M says:

      Interesting question! I think that would be a next logical step. If we have the resolve to stand up, step in, and speak up, once we do it, we are committed. Our resolve needs to be present, however, all the way through, not just one moment in time.

      Great question, Betsy! Thanks for adding that into the conversation. Jon

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