Friday, 18 December 2015

New Years Resolutions

Here’s my guide to making, and finishing, New Year’s Resolutions:
1.  Write it down.  Sometimes I post mine as a note Facebook.  Perhaps it will be handy just to have it on a sticky note.  If a goal is important to you, you don’t want to forget it.
2.  Make it something measurable.  “Be a better person,” is vague and hard to track the progress of.  In the past I’ve had “take X amount of people out for dinner,” and “move out of my parents’ house.”  If your goal is to “eat healthier,” why not instead go “only eat X unhealthy meals a week,” or “lose X pounds.”
3.   Keep yourself accountable to others.  You may not want to post your goals for the world to see, but tell someone you trust your goal so that they can motivate you.
4.  Give yourself rewards for succeeding.  Try to not to have the reward something that will be counter-productive to your goal.  For instance, “let myself binge-watch the latest TV series” may be an acceptable reward for eating healthier, but would not be a good reward if your resolution was “watch less TV.”
5.  Have the resolution be things that are actually important to you, and know why it is important.  I once had a resolution to write a song.  Although I’ve written many lyrics, I’ve never written music for a full length song.  I ended up not finishing that resolution simply because it was something to do just for the sake of doing it, not because it was something that was important to me.
6.  Don’t stop once you’ve completed your goal.  Make bigger goals!  Always strive to push yourself!  You don’t have to wait until January 1 to start something new.
7.  It’s never to late to push yourself.  Perhaps your goal was to write a novel and it’s December and you’ve only gotten the first paragraph written.  If you have some free time, get more writing done.  You may not complete your goal, but progress is progress.
8.  Make your resolutions realistic.  It’s fine, and recommended, to have goals that will take multiple years to finish.  But make your New Year’s resolution something you can see yourself completing in a single year if you apply yourself.
9.  Have a plan in place to aid you in completing your goal.  If you don’t know how to do something, research.  Some goals cannot be completed with mere willingness.  Sometimes you will need to create a meal plan or an organized schedule.  If you’re not sure what strategy to use to tackle your goal, ask someone who is strong in that area for help.

In considering what to make as your New Year's Resolution, I would recommend you thinking past the merely physical.  When making lifestyle changes, attitude is everything.  So don't just focus on losing calories, but focus on gaining knowledge.  Try to gain experience in helpful things.  Expand the boundaries of your comfort zone by taking steps outside of it.  Try new things!  As we grow we are always changing, which is great because the world around us is always changing too.  Stubbornness is your enemy!  You don't have to stick to being your past self to "be yourself."  Become a better version of yourself!