How to choose your New Year’s Resolution
Can you believe it? I mean, it’s right around the corner. 2009 passed in the blink of an eye. Really. I cannot recall another year of my life that moved so quickly. It is almost disconcerting.
However, with a new year knocking on our collective door’s we are again given a wonderful opportunity to sit back, focus and take a long, deep look at our current state of affairs and decide what we might want to change.
Enter: The New Year’s Resolution.
I am sure that even reading those words can for a few of you, elicit feelings of excitement and a healthy, fun sort of anticipation while for the rest of us, all it manages to elicit are a series of melancholic sigh’s.
Let’s face it…most people drop the ball when it comes to sticking with or accomplishing New Year’s Resolutions and there are a few good reasons for this. I have had my fair share of failures in this department (1984: learn to fly, 1987: become an actual Ninja, 1989: own a grappling hook, 1991: Record my own rap album, 1995-2009: save money) Hey, no excuses here. Failure is just that, failure, but with some proper prior planning we can all tip the odds in our favor in regards to the completion or realization of our New Year’s goals.
In order to choose the best Resolution, you have to set a goal and in order to set a goal you have to ask some questions…here we go….Oh and it might help if you get out a piece of paper and write all this down, you will need it later. Few things crystallize a concept like writing about it.
In your life, what are a some things that you would really like to change?
Go ahead and make a list, however long you like. Just write. Write out all the things that you want to change in your life. For some people this will be a very long list, for others it might be naturally more concise, either way, just write.
OK, now look at your list, think deeply about your motivation’s for each one of the things you listed, and if any of the motivations you have come from other people, not from you, then cross that thing off your list.
This can be a little confusing but its necessary. For example, if you are a social drinker, this means you have a few drinks on the weekends when you go out with friends, you are responsible and havent had any booze related problems since that weekend in Tijuana after graduation, but, your husband/wife/mom/brother/G.F./insert whoever, dislikes that you have those drinks sometimes, so you are considering quitting in order to make them happy…nope. Cross that one right off the list.
It is essential that your motivations for Change come from deep within yourself. Without that deep personal well-spring of want and desire, you won’t succeed.
So if you think about drinking, and you realize that you actually have a problem with alcohol and that quitting or at least moderating your intake could really improve your quality of life, then keep it on the list.
Just remember, anything that you don’t really care about get’s crossed off.
Look at the list, are these goals all SPECIFIC? If not, scratch it off.
The following are really wonderful but useless for us here:
I want to heal the world!
I just wanna… give peace a chance!
I want to broaden my horizons.
I want to bring about a vibrant renaissance in 2010.
I want to save the whales.
Like I said…great Ideas but they are not Specific so scratch them off.
If you have found now that you have nothing left on your list, go back and re-word some of your goals. for example “Broaden your horizons” could mean that you want to A) Travel to Europe on a 2 week Vacation going to a series of museums and culture hot spots or B) You will read 25 books this year.
Something like that. Be SPECIFIC.
Back to the list. Are these goals things that you can MEASURE?
Making certain that your goals are measurable is a big deal and it will help a lot in insuring that you succeed.
“I wanna lose weight.” No-wrong.
“I wanna lose 25 pound’s” Yes-Correct.
Why? Because you can get on the scale. You can check your weight daily. You can Measure it. Same with saving money and a lot of other things.
The list, ok, whatever is left, if this something you can actually DO?
“I want to save 850,000 dollars by april”
Somehow…I think that this is, at least for most of us, simply not going to happen. This is not an Attainable goal.
Whatever you want to do it has to be something that you CAN ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH. If you have your doubt’s, recruit the advice of someone who has done something similar to what you are trying to do. Ask them if your goals or projections seem Attainable. If what you have on that little list is not attainable, go back and try again.
Ok…so that is it for now.
Using the guidelines above you should be able to lock down and clearly identify one or two candidates for your New Year’s Resolution. You can take your time and think about which one you want most.
Tomorrow I will be back on with more information about how we can design a plan to help us ACHIEVE our Goals for 2010.
Don’t lose your list!