Time to Revive a New Years' Resolution
The summer is just about over, you can feel the change of seasons in the air. The kids are back in school and the days are getting shorter. Even though my school years are long behind me, this time of year, always makes me feel excited and hopeful. I feel new beginnings are possible. Whatever happened to those New Year’s Resolutions? This is a perfect time to dust them off and reassess them. We are in the last quarter of the year, but there is still time to reach one of those goals. Instead of making and failing the same set of Resolutions year after year, why not pick one and accomplish it.
Instead of looking at all the things you want to change, for this last quarter, just pick one thing. Some of the most popular resolutions are also the hardest ones, such as Losing Weight, Exercising More, Quitting Smoking or Getting Out of Debt. These types of resolutions require a lot of attention and effort. To create the best circumstances for success, pick just one.
Now that you have picked the one Resolution you will revive. Be specific about the goal and break it down into daily or weekly accomplishments. If losing weight is your thing, then focus on losing 1 pound per week and what you should day each day to reach that weekly goal. If it is exercise, then make up your mind to exercise a minimum of ten minutes per day, every day, etc. If you are specific and realistic about the goal you will be able to succeed in this last quarter.
Start a journal or diary or even write onto your calendar each day. To begin, write down your goal and the reasons why this goal is important to you. Create an action plan. This is simply a list of the things you will do to reach this goal. Add to this action plan a list any potential obstacles that might stand in your way, think about strategies to overcome those obstacles, and write them down too. Once that is done, then “check-in” on your journal regularly. Devote a few minutes in the morning to write your plan for the day, for example, what you will do today to help reach your goal and conversely, what scheduling or other issue might interfere with your plan and think of strategies to overcome the obstacles. If you are not a morning person, you can recap the happenings surrounding your day and goal each night. This daily check-in with yourself keeps the goal squarely on your mind. You are more likely to succeed if you think about your goal and plan its success each day.
To stay motivated from time to time reread your stated goal and the reasons why it is so important. Stay positive, think about what you have done and what you have accomplished and feel good about that. Enlist a friend or loved one to join you on this journey. If you are a visual person, create a visual aid that will chart progress. Imagine achieving your goal and how that will feel. Think about what it will be like to achieve the goal, imagine every detail of how it would be. Visualization can be powerful tool in helping you accomplish your goal. Try all or some of these techniques, do whatever it takes to reach your goal and have success by the end of this quarter.
Accept that there will be days you do not feel like doing anything, but if you push through the day know that you will feel better. Moods and feelings change all the time, they are not as important as we think. After all, how many things do we do that we are not enthused about? We go to work, do our household chores and a bunch of other things. From time to time, we are not in the mood and do not want to them. But we do them anyway, because we have to. Certain things just need to get done, it does not matter how you feel about it. This is how you should see your action plan, you will follow it, not because you feel like it, but because you decided that you will do it.
The best thing about this last quarter is just that, it’s just a quarter, three short months. It may not be the total amount of time you need to accomplish complete success, but in three months you can make significant changes and develop a new habit. Three months is a manageable amount of time. End the year with success and next year will be even better!