Out with the old and in with the new, as they say. And what better way than to set a few goals to greet us in the new year, providing just enough of the spark to see us though the end of it.
But here’s the thing about New Year’s Resolutions. Sometimes, they are nothing more than thin air…. forgettable and easily blown away. So here’s where all of us could use a little help to make our New Year’s Resolutions a reality.
You Really Need This
Making resolutions are good. They recognize and acknowledge that not everyone and not every situation is perfect. Resolutions, if made correctly are motivators of encouragement. Despite this however, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute survey, only 41% Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions and of this, only 9.2% felt they were successful in achieving their resolution. So, when I made my 2017 New Year’s Resolution List, I made sure that the most necessary ones topped my list. For example, Lose that 2016 winter weight (I don’t need to tell you that nearly all of us are guilty of over-eating during the holidays) and Learn Left-Side driving (because we Asians drive on the right normally and being unable to drive handicaps me in a country where public transport is very rare). Make sure your resolution is something that benefits you. If you are not convinced that you need resolutions, you will not be convinced that you need to stick with them.
Make Choices Fun
Resolutions vary in terms of type and duration. It may also sometimes vary in terms of demographics – gender specific or age specific resolutions. Because of these variations, it’s very difficult to narrow down some of the best resolutions to have. The easiest way to choose is to reflect on what you have accomplished; select a few meaningful goals that will make an impact; be prepared to ‘stop doing’ a few things you normally would that don’t benefit you and by ceasing to do them , will ensure you have time to do the things that do benefit you. My personal tip to choosing resolutions is to add at least one Fun Resolution. For me, who was never into ‘gaming’ I included ‘Be a sport: try out a few video games in 2017’. This would ensure I spend more family time with my husband and kids who are hardcore gamers, allow myself some much needed relaxation time and possibly learn a thing or 2 about video games while I’m at it.
Initiate Driver mode!
When making out your list, be sure you schedule it i.e if it is an ongoing resolution like effective exercise, set aside a specific time each day for it. If it is a one-time achievement like building your own gaming computer (this was my husband’s 2016 resolution, a project he successfully achieved), schedule time for that as well. Scheduling your resolution makes it easier for you to stick to it. Be committed to your cause, simply because, no one is going to do it for you. That said, it is also important for you to know that there may be a few initial setbacks and challenges, making it seem more difficult for you to execute your resolution(s). In her article, How Long It Takes to Form a New Habit Maria Popova, explains:
“It’s like trying to run up a hill that starts out steep and gradually levels off. At the start you’re making great progress upwards, but the closer you get to the peak, the smaller the gains in altitude with each step.” Lastly reward your efforts. Every time you make any headway with your overall resolution, treat yourself to a prize. This will motivate and energize you to take on the next steps towards completion.
Track Progress: Have an accountability partner.
2 things here. Firstly, it’s important that your resolution, like all SMART goals, must be measurable because this is what will identify gaps in execution and possibly predict whether you will succeed or fail at accomplishing your resolution at the end of the year. Secondly, while your resolution is yours and you will need to execute it on your own, it’s wise to have an accountable partner to keep you on track. Depending on your resolution, it’s schedule time and place of execution, this can be a spouse, a work colleague, a family member or a friend. Having an accountable partner will not only provide motivation and companionship but intensify your efforts to accomplish what you started out to do.
So there you have it, The Essential Guide To Making Your New Year Resolutions & Sticking With Them! I hope you find these tips helpful. 2017 has just begun and it’s not too late to make a few Resolutions for yourself if you haven’t already.