Letters to YOU: “How can I make good New Year’s Resolutions?”
It’s that time of the year when everyone is asking you “What are you New Year’s resolutions?” If you have a clear picture in your head and can answer this question with ease, then I congratulate you. You’ve had your champagne, celebrated with your nearest and dearest, relaxed, re-energised and it’s time to get back to your daily routine. But what if you’re not happy with the way your life turned out? Do you really want to re-live 2012 as the previous year; do you really want to see people moving towards their goals, do you really want to stay behind? If your New Year’s resolutions are – to stay healthy, be good to people and party less – then it’s just a big lie, standard words, very broad resolutions, and your chance to succeed is close to zero. However, if you are really puzzled, stuck and don’t know where to start, you might find these tips useful.
- Think what you want to achieve by the end of this year. Make your resolutions in a positive form. If you want to lose weight, then it’s better to write it down ‘I want to achieve such and such weight by the end of the year’ or ‘I want to get in shape’. Our bodies are fighters, they don’t like losing or quitting, it means giving up. You have more than 300 days to do something differently every day. If you want to lose weight, you can lose more than 30 kilos if you only lose 100 grams a day! Make a list of goals you want to achieve. All of these goals must be realistic, achievable, measurable and meaningful. What will it mean achieving each goal? What will you feel, see and notice? How will it make you feel comparing to how you feel now? How will your life change once you achieve these goals? How will it affect others around you? How will you know you’ve reached your goal? How much time do you realistically need to achieve it – a couple of month or a few years?
- Make sure your resolutions are personal and you’re doing them for yourself, not for your parents, friends or manger. The list of resolutions doesn’t have to be extensive. There is a danger of demotivating yourself at the very beginning. Set between one to three major goals. For instance, if you want to get in shape, then it’s your goal. Joining the gym, eating a balanced diet, exercising at least three times a week, avoid junk food, cooking at home, counting the calories etc. – these are not your goals/resolutions, these are the actions you have to take to achieve your goal i.e. get in shape.
- Remember that resolutions are set in one day, but it might take a whole year to achieve these. Once you have put your resolutions down on paper, make sure you’re happy with what you have set for yourself. After all, it’s you who will have to take certain steps on a daily basis and no one said it will be easy. Take your diary and write down a few actions you can take every day for the next 5-6 weeks. Make sure there are no blank days. Even if it’s Sunday, you can still dedicate a couple of hours to doing some reading, research or simply treat yourself because of the productive week you’ve had. Plan your rewards ahead. It will act as one of your many motivators.
- After a few weeks, revisit your plan and actions. Maybe you need to re-phrase your resolution; maybe you have to take extra actions in order to achieve it faster. Be flexible as life brings a series of unexpected events. Be ready to face these events with strength and dignity. Don’t panic if the hotel of your holiday destination doesn’t have a gym. You can always do some running sessions by the beach in the early morning.
- Tell your friends and family about your resolutions. Get all the support you want and need from them. Find out whether someone would be interested to join the gym with you or even start a new business. Talk to people. There is no need to be all secretive about something great you want to achieve. They won’t laugh if you don’t succeed.
- Track your progress once every 2 weeks. These days there are many tools available online. Small accomplishments will keep you motivated and give you the strength to carry on. Be good to yourself even if you slip up. Just get back on track as fast as you can. Do the best you can every day. You’re not competing against the whole world. You are not competing at all. You are just a person, who is willing to adopt new life habits, try new exciting activities and live in harmony with yourself.
- Don’t fight your old habits. Instead adopt new healthy habits. Stick to your new activities for 21 days – it will become a part of your routine. Stick to your activities for 6 months – it will become your habit.
Be healthy, happy and wealthy…. & Remember: “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”
Always by your side,
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