Whether we’re going to be “great in 2008“, “doing fine in 2009“, “doing it again in 2010“, “opening up heaven in 2011“…we seem to like the idea that each year brings a sort of magic. We love the idea that the fireworks, champagne and watching the Times Square ball drop will magically turn us into something we couldn’t be in the previous year. It’s a new hope for new beginnings.
However, just because the calendar changes, it won’t magically make you stay in Weight Watchers, start loving your partner again, improve your credit score or quit smoking. It’s going to take more than a magical feeling at the stroke of midnight. It’s going to take a new decision, a new discipline, a new outlook. New Year’s resolutions aren’t bad…they are actually quite effective when followed through.
I think the problem is that many of us don’t understand what New Year’s resolutions are about, namely, change, usually significant life change. We must take a serious look at what it is going to take to make your resolutions stick.
Here’s a few things to help you stick to your resolutions.
1. Keep it simple…pick one or two things you really want to work on. You can change the world next year.
2. Make a Plan…do some research. If its going to take money…set a budget. Consider any obstacles. Choose a start date.
3. Create milestones. For most of us, if we haven’t reached our goal by February, we feel like a failure. Breaking your big goal into small easily achievable milestones is key. Think about your life change in terms of steps.
4. Go big! Be committed 100%. Write it down on sticky notes on your mirror, in your car, on your phone wallpaper, on your computer screen. Every morning, before you even get out of bed, ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish today?”
5. Don’t beat yourself up…small failures are normal. If you fall, get back up. If you give in to your old ways, forgive yourself and move forward.
6. Reward yourself. There is nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back along the way…just don’t go into debt doing so.
So, is this year going to be different? Is it going to be great? It absolutely can be. It’s up to you. The Time Square New Year’s Ball is in your hands and the decision is yours.
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” ~Benjamin Franklin
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11