I love making New Year’s Resolutions. The beginning of a New Year is like a land-mark in the year that reminds me to look back over the year that has passed and appreciate everything I’ve achieved so far, and to take some time to reflect on my priorities before setting my sights on new targets.
I hear some people say that they don’t write New Year’s Resolutions because they “don’t believe in them.” However, if they are written and used properly they can be powerful tools in your journey.
So what makes the difference between a list of wishful thoughts which get forgotten by February, and a set of goals which become accomplishments by December?
Know What You Want
Making decisions becomes much easier when you know what is truly important to you. This makes it much easier to prioritise and to differentiate between what is truly worth your effort and what may merely be a fleeting fancy. If you’re not exactly sure of what you want, try to imagine the kind of person you would like to be, and work backwards from there. What kinds of decisions would that person make? What would her priorities be? What would she have achieved by the end of the year?
Taking the time to look back over the past year and examine what you achieved, what work is still in progress and what went wrong will help you to gain clarity on your current goals. Are your new goals building on the success you had during the past year? Are there set-backs which need to be addressed in order to avoid having your goals sabotaged this year? Remember to learn from your mistakes but also to take pride in your achievements and to use this energy to encourage yourself and spur yourself on.
Your New Year’s Resolutions should serve as a road-map for the year ahead, reminding you of your priorities. Make sure your goals are clearly defined. Words such as “successful,” “happy,” and “fit,” for example, can mean different things to different people and it’s important that you take the time to specify what they mean to you so that you know whether or not you have achieved them. “Fit,” for example, might be defined as being able to run a marathon, or just being able to make it through a kickboxing class. Make sure your goals are well-defined and your success is measurable.
Next, you need to identify what specific actions you will need to take on a daily, weekly and monthly basis in order to make these goals a reality. These actions could include planning your meals, going to a fitness class, or enrolling in a course, for example. If you’re unsure of what action to take, do some research. Speak to people who have achieved similar goals, or enlist the services of a professional.
Hope these tips help you out. A couple of other things I like to do include displaying your written goals somewhere to keep them fresh in your mind, and making yourself accountable by sharing your goals with someone positive who can help to keep you on track when you feel discouraged or lose focus throughout the year.
Would you like to share your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions?