It's that time of year again - the night of New Year's Eve - when all too many sit anxiously waiting for the clock to strike twelve and the ball to drop. We celebrate the year that has just passed and the year that is coming up ahead. We reflect back on our accomplishments and our setbacks, what has gone down in history and how we are getting older. But, it doesn't last long, less than 24 hours later it is all over and we are putting pressure on ourselves with new found 'New Year's Resolutions'. An idea so many people process and vow to work on in the upcoming months.
New Year's Resolutions are great. They are a part of getting to 'someday' and they help us set up goals for ourselves. But realistically statistics have shown that only 8% of people actually succeed with their resolutions. Could it be possible that so many people are setting unrealistic goals? Or, is it the mere fact that they just don't have the will power to commit and stay dedicated to that once great idea they thought of on January 1st? The possibilities for failure could be many. But one thing is possible, if you set yourself up realistically you shouldn't be failing, so let's step back and look at what the process should be, before we start endlessly committing ourselves to unrealistic goals.
First and foremost, you need to be realistic with yourself. Why are you setting these particular New Year's Resolutions? Is it because it is something new you heard about and would like to experience, is it a transformation you would like to make within yourself, or is it a lifelong dream you've always had and have finally decided to conquer? Either way, ask yourself why you have never done it in the past - can it realistically be scheduled into the lifestyle you are living now, or are you going to have to change that too? How much time is it going to take from you? Be honest with yourself - why all of a sudden do you want to achieve this goal?
Once you are honest with yourself, and you are ready to commit, it is time to make a plan. First grab yourself a piece of paper for each New Year's Resolution you have. Then, at the top of each paper, write one of the resolutions. One at a time, answer the following questions:
Is this a permanent lifestyle change? If not, when would I like to achieve this resolution by?
Exactly how am I going to accomplish this resolution (i.e. if it is to lose weight - I will exercise three times a week for 30 minutes and cut out all junk food from my diet)?
Will this resolution affect people around me (i.e. if you decide to eat healthier, will your family be eating healthier as well or will you have to cook different meals for them)? If so, how will it affect them and what will I need to do differently?
Is my New Year's Resolution going to cost money? If so, how will I pay for the extra expenses?
What are my plans if I fall of track?
Is there someone that I can report my progress too, in order to stay focused?
What areas of my life will be affected by my resolution? What will I do to make sure everything works well together?
What else can I do to ensure I achieve my resolution?
These are just some of the questions you should be answering when you are writing down your resolution. Ensuring you are ready, you know the obstacles you have to accomplish and you have made a plan to get there - you are more likely to succeed at your New Year's Resolution. Keep in mind, that maintaining a journal with your progress, setbacks and reflections will help you learn, grow and stay focused throughout your journey.
Most people wake up on January 1st and decide they are going to change. They don't make a plan. They don't set a specific date. And they don't think about how this resolution will be implemented into their life. Today, you can be different. You can do all of this and more, by simply taking a few minutes to dedicate yourself towards your dream, you can and you should be able to make a New Year's Resolution that's right for you and succeed!
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