New year is upon us once again and many of us are going to make resolutions! You might be asking yourself why make new years resolutions again this year, if I fail like usually? My article will help you to make a promise which you are able to keep and be on your way to self-improvement!
The year is ending and most of us are making resolutions for different reasons. I will take you through the process and let you into the secret of my own resolution. I would also love to hear yours, so be sure to leave me a comment!
Reasons To Make Resolutions
Why should you make a resolution you might ask? There are many reasons to do so, you might have completely different personal ones, but I will introduce you to the most common reasons people state.
It’s a tradition in many places around the word to make a promise on new year. It’s mostly due to the fact that when the year is drawing to the end, we often take some time to reflect our lives.
Of course it would be possible to do this at any time of the year, unfortunately a lot of people miss the drive for improvement as they fail to identify the deep rooted reason or need for their resolution in the first place.
The chance of the year is seen to help you leave behind the past with all its troubles and sorrows behind and start over. It can also be combined with a wish, such as hoping someone else will overcome their problems and have a great start for the new year.
Many people see the new year as an opportunity to motivate themselves with something they have been struggling with the previous year, such as loosing weight or learning a new skill.
These are the most difficult resolutions to stick with and I will be talking about ways to improve your chances about succeeding in the Sticking With Your Resolutions section.
Some people make a new years resolution simply because they are inspired by someone else. For instance if your partner decides to quit smoking, you have an incredible opportunity to follow in his footsteps.
It’s easier to make resolutions that are difficult to stick to together as you can support each other and follow up on each others progress. Just make sure you also commit and don’t start leading each other to temptation instead!
Many people make a resolution together with other people. For instance the whole school class commits for better results in math or a whole family decides to spend more time together.
This kind of resolution is the easiest to succeed as you will be working together towards a success. It’s not so dependant on individual efforts, but about motivating the whole group to succeeding!
Making Your Resolutions
Sit down and reflect about your life. Is there something you would like to improve? Write down the areas of self or group improvement that come to your mind.
Next examine your reasons for making a particular decision, such as stop smoking because it will improve their health. It will help to write the reason down as well. It will work as a motivator when you need reasons to stick with your resolution!
Discussing them with others might help, as they might have ideas of which areas of your persona or life need improvement. Make sure that you are ready for honest feedback though, it might not be easy to hear what others have to say.
Once you have your ideas, consider which would give you most value at this particular time. Basically this means that you should pick one or two that you like most, trust your gut feeling on this!
Don’t be tempted to make too many promises as this will only backfire as you will get mentally exhausted and feel pressure even before you start with your goals. Don’t worry, you can safe those for the years to come!
Before your make your resolution it’s important to consider the following things that will ensure you can stick with your resolution.
Make Specific Goals
Don’t make lofty promises, such as ‘I will loose some weight next year’ or ‘I will exercise more’. Instead make a specific goal, such as ‘I will drop two dress sizes by next summer holidays’, or ‘I will exercise 3 time a week’
Making specific goals allows you to measure your success more easily and this will help to keep you motivated along the way! A good friend on mine, who goes to the same cancer clinic than me, made a resolution to try out my meditation for pain-relief program to replace his opiates.
Ensure Your Goal is Achievable
Do not define goals you know in advance you are not able to achieve as this will be demotivating. Keep them realistic enough for you to feel the urge to work towards them.
For instance promising that you will complete a marathon under 4 hours might not be the best promise to make if you spend most of your life on the couch. Instead promise to yourself to complete the couch to 5k program!
Make sure to define steps or check points, so you can easily follow up on your progress. Make sure the steps are not overwhelmingly difficult to obtain. If your exceed your goals, there is reason to celebrate! For instance if your resolution was a weight loss: I will loose 2kg every month.
Sticking With Your Resolution
So you have selected your resolution, congratulation! You are on your way to improving your life! The most important thing now is to ensure you will be able to stick to your resolution and achieve your goals!
There are several techniques to ensure you won’t give up before even getting started. Lets examine them closer.
Write Down Your Goals
Write down your goals and the steps you broken your task down to. Place the paper somewhere where you can easily see it every day, as it will remind you of your promise. Keep a pen nearby, so you can tick each step after you reach it!
Some people like printing a spreadsheet style list with couple of columns, such as:
|Goal||Loose 10kg by summer holidays||Date|
|Step 1||loose 2kg by 31.01|
|Step 1||loose 2kg by 28.02|
They can then fill in the date they achieved their steps or mini goals, which is extremely motivates. If you are part of a group pack, make sure you use a format, which allows both individual and group goals.
Make sure that you agree among each other if everyone wants their results published, some people might feel sensitive about this, but in general it often encourages people to compete against each other.
You might even make bets or arrange a competition! Just make sure to keep it friendly, so nobody gives up because they feel like a looser.
Seek External Accountability
Make sure people know about your resolution. It’s surprisingly easy to cheat oneself, hence it’s much easier to stick to your resolution, if others know about your decision to give up smoking!
Tell your nearest and dearest, post it on social media, talk about it at work and write it down in your diary or blog. Once others know, it’s not so easy to back down on your word as you need to explain to others why you broke your promise to yourself.
Depending on your goal, support might be extremely important. For instance if you have decided to learn a new language next year support is not as crucial as in the case of loosing weight, stopping smoking or getting better school results!
You might ask someone close to you, partner, friend, teacher, parent or if you prefer someone who doesn’t know you personally, seek a support group on social media or forums, such as Quit Smoking Support Group of Facebook. There are plenty available for any possible self improvement topic, Google will show you the way!
Once you have your support person or a group, make sure to keep them up to date on your progress and ask them to keep on checking on your. If you are struggling let them know!
Make sure to reward yourself in meaningful ways for each mini goal you made. If your goal was to loose weight, using food as a reward might not be the best option, but instead treat yourself to some new clothes when you reach your goals and maybe some accessories or massage or haircut along the way.
Group reward might be some fun activity, such as taking the whole class ice skating or family night out in the movies or the bowling hall. Be creative and ensure everyone has their say!
Once you reach your goal, make sure your results are known. You have every reason to be proud of yourself, you have done a fantastic job, this is your moment to shine!
Happy New Year!
So remember when the fireworks start, you have the chance to start all over! It is up to you to learn about your mistakes and turn a new page with the experiences under our belt. Nothing lasts forever, not even bad luck or emotional rut! Happiness is just around the corner.
And if your year was a great one, why not make the next one even greater? There is always something to improve, the human nature is searching for perfection after all. If you need inspiration, take a look at my post about What Is Positive Thinking About – Sattvic Mind
My very own goal this year is to beat my cancer! I will define my mini goals the next few weeks and write a post about it. What kind of promise are you making for the new year?
ॐ Love and Peace For The New Year,