The New Year comes with a sense of a fresh start, an opportunity to try over what we hoped we would achieve in the previous year but that we did not quite achieve, at least to the extent we hoped. With wishes of a happy and prosperous new year, hope and anticipation are palpable in the air and almost everyone is rearing to go. In as much as today many are skeptical of New Year’s resolutions, probably because of the Internet and widespread skepticism on the ineffectiveness of making such resolutions, we all secretly hope, even against our own lack of faith, that at least we will do some things a bit different. But things don’t always go as planned and all grand and not-so-grand resolutions fall by the way side to haunt us as regrets when the year finally comes to an end. Well, here are five things that will guarantee this will happen every year, that is, unless you change your approach.
Keep Them in Your Head
You probably have (or think you have) a wonderful memory and all you have to do is make a mental note of your New Year resolutions and you are good to go. This does not work. You see your mind is only able to hold one thought at any given time and much as you may commit the resolutions to memory, your mind will be so busy on other things, it will hardly recall them. So write them down, and increase your success rate by up to 30%.
Make Unrealistic Resolutions
You are not going to be CEO this year, when you just entered the company last year. You will also not lose 50 pounds in a month. Making unrealistic goals is the biggest cause for failure not just in New Year resolutions but also in life in general. Make SMART resolutions that you can achieve and that are realistic, this way you increase the likelihood that they will come to pass.
Make Ambiguous or General Resolutions
When you make a resolution that goes something like, “I’ll work harder this year”, what you are actually doing is planning to fail. There is a saying that goes “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”, and that is true with such a resolution. How will you know whether you are working harder or not? Getting down to specifics will ensure you are able to track your progress over time.
Keep them To Yourself
We tend to be very lenient and understanding with ourselves, something that works against us when we need to get some tough things done. If you make resolutions and keep them to yourself, chances are when you start going easy on them, there will be no one to call you out on it. Share them with a few people you know and who will be candid with you on them. This way you have some folks keeping you accountable and on track.
Not make any resolutions at all
I know, you’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and attended the concert. What is undeniable though is that we all need New Year resolutions, because even companies have them, they are called projections, KPI’s, etc. Resolutions help us audit the past year and plan effectively for the New Year ahead. Whereas making grandiose resolutions is mostly futile, making incrementally achievable goals spread through the year creates focus and direction for the year ahead. So even if you could not care less about new year resolutions, at least care enough to lay down a game plan for the year ahead and a way of sticking to it.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Guest post by Scott Ryan, writing for Morris Brothers Music Store.