Can you believe the New Year is almost upon us?! Which means that 2017 goes bye-bye, and hello brand new and shiny 2018! With a fresh year on the horizon, many of us will be looking internally at what we can do better and will be churning out New Year’s resolutions #NewYearNewMe. The question isn’t just “what should my New Year’s resolution(s) be?” Rather instead, “how do I stick to my New Year’s resolution?”
“I need to join the gym”: This is a common New Year’s resolution and comes from the hidden knowledge that most of us know we could be a lot healthier. (Especially after spending the holidays eating and drinking like food and alcohol was about to be cancelled for the next year!) So you’ve got your New Year’s resolution – now what?
First off, you need to be very specific with what you actually want to do with this resolution. After you join the gym, what’s next? Are you going to stand there and watch others work out while you pointlessly post gym selfies? (This happens!) Or… are you going to aim to lose a few pounds? Improve your 5K running time? Maybe even attempt to become a famous fitness icon, star in several blockbuster films and become governor of California for two terms! (Hey, dreams do come true! Just ask Arnold!)
It’s important to be very specific with your resolution or it will be extremely easy to deviate from. You don’t want to end up shelving it to the side like you have done so in the past.
“I want to learn a new skill”: As far as we know, there has never been an age in human history where knowledge has been so freely accessible. For a large majority of the human race, one can log on either via smart phone or a computer and access information on literally anything. It could be 2am, you can’t sleep, and you find yourself learning why giraffes sleep standing up! (I may or may not have done this last night). The point is…Google can be your best friend and you can learn a new skill sometimes without even having to attend a formal class of some kind.
Here we can see that this resolution is measurable, one can very clearly see that once the skill has been learnt then the resolution is complete. It is impracticable and self-defeating to choose a resolution that you cannot measure in some way. For example, “I want to be funnier next year”. How exactly would one measure this? Will you be counting the amount of laughs you get and compare it to last year? Will you be going to a novice stand up show and seeing if your jokes are appreciated? You have to be able to measure it, people!
“I want to make $1000 more next year”: Let’s be honest, as much as we think love makes the world go round – so does money! We all wish we had more money…well unless your name is Bill Gates or Liliane Bettencourt in which case you’re pretty much sorted! For the rest of us poorer folk, earning more money is a great resolution that can have a positive impact on certain areas of our lives. A bit of extra cash in our lives can finally afford us better food, healthcare, time with loved ones and trips to foreign destinations full of sun, sea and sand.
Bear in mind however, that resolutions must also be achievable for them to be kept. Making an extra $1000 a year is certainly achievable – in context that is. If you only earn $500 a year as it is, doubling your annual income in just one year is not impossible but is a mighty feat. Compare that to an individual who, let’s say, earns maybe $50,000 a year; tacking on an extra $1000 to that appears a lot more feasible.
“I want to fly to Cuba with my best friend next year”: Discovering exotic places, meeting new people, learning different languages and tasting cultural foods is a beautiful thing #Wanderlust. It’s a very inspiring resolution to have, it will keep you focused as, well, who wouldn’t want to visit a new land with their best friend? There’s just one problem here…is this really what YOU want?
New Year resolutions will be easier to keep if they are relevant to the person making them. In this instance, is flying to Cuba something you want to do or something that your friend is guilt tripping you into? Maybe they don’t want to go there alone? It could be they just want you to help split the bills or a wing-person while they’re out on the town. Whatever it may be, you need to ensure that you also want to do these things. It is very easy for us to make resolutions in the heat of the moment simply because of somebody else.
“I want to run the 100m in under 9 seconds”: Ah yes, time – that ever elusive commodity that we spend thoughtlessly and never get back. When choosing and keeping to a New Year’s resolution, time plays a crucial role in the process. Your resolution should be in a time that can be kept and abided by. Usain Bolt currently has the record of running the 100m in 9.58 seconds, so unless you are another 6ft 5 sprinting phenomenon – it ain’t gonna happen!
Ensure that you have enough time to fully complete your resolution as it can greatly hamper your progress if you are rushing things just to get them done on time. Like they say, all great things take time and this is the kind of thinking you should take onboard with your resolutions.
New Year resolutions are a fantastic way to improve your life and if stuck to, create a great framework for your future. That being said, resolutions require more than just timing, relevance and other factors mentioned above – they require willpower. The mind is lazy and hates change so it is imperative that you keep your will power up as much as possible during those early months. That is when the resolution will be hardest to maintain and many falter before any real changes have been made.
Stay strong my friends!…