It really feels like 2014 has blown past in a blink of an eye. This year has been an eventful one for me both personally and professionally and i for one would look back at this year with great fondness.
Every time this year as Christmas time roles by, I’m moved to snookered my past year and the goals that I’ve set out for myself this 2014. There’s something about a brand-new year and a brand new start that makes many of us want to stop and take stock of our year, as well as to start planning again for the year ahead. And as I countdown the final seconds of 2014, i tell myself that this is the year that I’m going to make my resolutions come true!
There are some resolutions think all of us have tried setting for ourselves at some point of our lives. I’ll lose weight this year! Or perhaps, I’ll start saving some more money for a rainy day. The ever popular, I’ll travel to a different place every month, or perhaps, telling yourself I’ll quit smoking and live healthier. So many resolutions, so little time, and yet for some of us, we go on year by year, making those same resolutions again and again, and watching them fail every year.
I’d bet that many of us would probably make those resolutions only on New Year’s Eve or waking up on New Year’s day with a massive leftover from the night before thinking, I think it’s time for a change. And there in lies a big problem for many of us. We get excited by the whole prospect of making up a resolution that we get caught in a moment of something new and exciting and wonderful.
Have you ever heard that old saying, go back and sleep on it? Well, there’s a lot of wisdom behind it. The reason is that going back and giving yourself time for the emotions to calm down first can be a great way to figure out the next best step for you. Only when your emotions are clear and your rational mind has set in, can good decisions be made. So imagine what would happen if you made those resolutions all gung-ho and excited on New Year’s Eve? Probably not many good resolutions, that’s for sure.
So what to do, what to do? We’ll run down somethings that you can do for yourself so that hopefully, you’ll find something that can help you make that killer resolution you’ve always wanted.
So to start things off, remember that resolutions don’t have to be made bang on the dot on the 1st of Januar, 2015. And even if you have, that doesn’t that it’s set ins tone and you can’t change it. Have a good hard think about what it is that you really want to set for yourself. Make sure to set realistic goals. but this, I don’t mean that you don’t aim high or big, rather, be realistic in terms of how you get your resolutions met. For example, if the dream to start up your own business and free yourself from the tyranny of employment, your first step isn’t to quit your job. Being realistic means making plans that you can achieve along the way to help you reach the eventual goal of being your own boss. For example, you would want to get some advice on setting up a business, talking with loved ones to get support both morally as well as financially, and finally, having enough cash to tide you over for the hard months ahead. So remember to build towards that big goal that you have, one realistic step at a time.
Nothing makes meeting your resolutions more doable then being accountable to yourself. Sometime back, I came upon this app (which incidentally seems to have gone the way of the Dodo bird, but I digress) which was brilliant in its simplicity. Each time you added an item into the app, it would post it online to Facebook or Twitter. The app was based on the concept of accountability, where the very fact that our friends and family knew of the task that we’re doing, the more likely that you would carry it out. So imagine when your to-do-list is published to your social networks my guess is that you’ll be uber productive in no time at all. Not completing your tasks would definitely be at your social peril. Using the same concept in setting your resolutions, share them with a friend or two. Better yet, get a few buddies together who want to do the same thing and get working on it.
When you have set your resolutions and are all raring to go warp speed, spare a moment to remember that he only person you’ve got to compare with is yourself. Resolutions are there to help you become a better you, so as they say, keeping your head down and in the game. Everyone moves at the own pace, so comparing yourself to someone else may not be the best for you. Instead, compare yourself to the person you were before. If you’re going backwards, perhaps its time to take a step back and evaluate what you can do next.
Just bear in mind that going backwards or messing up is fine! Really it is! This is something that a lot of struggle with, because we’re a society that doesn’t deal too kindly with failing. We’re surrounded by so many success stories all the time that when we do face failure, it’s very substantial proverbial slap to the face. Don’t be so hard to yourself, Rom wasn’t built in a day and you won’t reach that resolution straight away either. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and on off you again. But if you keep facing failure again and again, maybe its time to get back to that old drawing board and having a good hard look at those resolutions again.
On the other hand if you’re doing well and on track, please don’t forget to reward yourself. This is something I think that not many of us do and a lot of times, its because we haven’t reached that mythical end-point of our resolution so we shouldn’t celebrate. This ties in with the earlier idea of breaking down the goals into bite sized chunks so that we know we’re headed in the right direction. Each time you accomplish a step, reward yourself!
This is absolutely vital because at the end of the day, us humans thrive on conditioning, both positive and negative. Some of you may have heard of Pavlov’s unfortunate canine and the experiments that was run. But cutting a long story short, conditioning is when you pair an action with a punishment or reward. For example, you’re more likely to do your chores when you get rewarded with dessert, rather than being punished with more chores after you’re done. Using this same concept, not rewarding yourself along the way to meeting your resolution is akin to punishing yourself again and again. Give yourself a good pat on yourself so that you can stay motivated and encouraged. Makes reaching our resolutions that much easier!
Last but not least, it’s all good and fine to have a resolution, but until you actually knuckle down and get off your laurels to do them, they’re never going to come true! Many times people feel that their resolutions are too big or daunting that they never get anything done. But when we’re able to break them down, then suddenly it becomes that much more manageable and much less scary. At this stage, getting yourself moving seems that much easier.
Right, so that’s me signing off for the year 2014. A very (Belated) Merry Christmas to you all, and an even Happier New Year ahead! Here’s to all your resolutions coming true!