The Art of Making New Year’s Resolutions
We are approaching 2017 very soon, have you given up making New Year’s Resolutions because you can’t even remember what they are by the time April comes rolling along? You’re definitely not alone.
Give it another go this year and you may just be pleasantly surprised by how meaningful and helpful New Year’s resolutions can be.
The Only Thing You can Change is Yourself
Once you realize that you’re the only thing you can change, then the scope of your infinite New Year’s Resolutions become a lot more narrow, but precise, grounded, and sensible. You can’t force a promotion to come your way, but you can improve the way you work and relate to your colleagues this year and pave your way to a promotion.
You can’t wish for life to suddenly become more exciting and fulfilling, but you can step out of your comfort zone this year and try new things you never dared to.
To Do or To Be
This new year, think about making a resolution that’s a little different. Have you always made resolutions that are more about doing than being? Travel more, Lose weight, make more money, invest more etc. You get the idea. If you’re an achievement-oriented person who likes making New Year resolutions that are based on getting things done, then perhaps it’s time to take a different approach this year for a change.
What do you want to be more of this year? Be more patient, compassionate, resilient, funny, aware of world affairs? New Year Resolutions are a good way to pause, take a step back, and find aspects of yourself that you really want to develop.
Relax, It’s Okay to Slip Up
You can probably lose count of the number of times that you’ve gotten on to your resolutions with more motivation than Tony Robbins, and by the end of the second month you’re just downright flat on the inspiration battery.
Take your resolutions seriously, but don’t stress about it to the point that it becomes counter-productive. It’s fine if you’ve splurged and bust your budget this week, just don’t beat yourself up about it and move on. For some irrational reason, some people choose to forgo their resolutions entirely after a couple of slip-ups instead of simply getting up and moving on.
Set Little Reminders
Writing them down seems like a good idea, but having a New Year’s Resolution written boldly on the wall may not work for everyone. Seeing it every day could either remind you of it, or simply fade into the year as a living room wall decal.
Instead, set little alarm reminders on your computer or smartphone for random dates throughout the year. That way, as you go about your daily routines, a little note comes up to remind you of your bigger goal in life.
Start with Small Habits
Any resolution is just a concept in thin air if you don’t actually do it. Better still, do it every day in the form of small habits. No matter how lofty your goals are, think of a way to break it down to the smallest action that you can do on a daily basis.
Want to be more helpful this year? Instead of banking on that two-week volunteering trip, take advantage of everyday living situations. Be the first to open the door for the rest of people entering the room, ask tourists if they need directions, offer to carry part of a heavy load for somebody.
Your daily habits develop behavioral changes that shape the way you think and act. Just think about the child who saves coins in a piggy bank every day no matter how little he comes home with.
Don’t leave the reflection to 31 Dec and then moan about how far you’ve veered off the track of sainthood. Reflect once in a couple of months, give yourself a pat on the back for whatever progress you’ve made, and look forward to doing more of whatever works.
You could even ask your friends and family if they’ve noticed any changes in you. You may be critical about yourself for not doing enough, but people around may remind you of how far you’ve come.
Tell Everyone about Your Goals
If it suits you, be the annoying one that posts every other day on social media about what amazing progress you’ve made on your Yoga poses. Social support and a little bit of pressure could be the ingredients that make you tick.
When you share your goals with the wider community, you could also find support and helpful guidance. A friend may have successfully given up smoking and have tons of practical advice for you. Another could have scoured through all the investment books and have top picks to share.
Ready to make those resolutions now? Good luck!