If you’re struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, you’re certainly not alone. Failing to keep your resolutions becomes something to joke about in the office. It’s very easy to say, “Well no one keeps their resolutions really. Maybe I’ll have better luck next year.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Write a plan
Business owners know the importance of writing a business plan, setting out where they want to get to, and how they’re going to get there. Well, setting goals has also been proven to make it more likely that you’ll stick to a resolution. Try to make them SMART (specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based). Rather than say, “I want to get fitter,” say, “I want to be able to jog five kilometres by 1st July. To do that I will jog twice a week. I will use the Couch to 5K app to help me, and I will enlist a jogging partner to make sure I go.”
Think of the things you want in your life, whether it’s finding a job you love, a new relationship, or a new house. Stop thinking of those things as dreams or resolutions. Start thinking of them as goals. Write them down, then work out the steps you need to take to make them happen. Try putting dates beside those steps. If you want to move house for instance, how much do you need to set aside each month for a deposit? What will you do each month to make your current house easier to sell? When are you going to look at locations?
Choose new resolutions
It may be that the resolutions you set aren’t the right ones for you. Or that they need tweaking a little. Perhaps instead of vowing to go to the gym every week, you need to vow to go for a brisk walk each day instead. Or maybe what you really need are general life goals, like the three below:
- Do more of what makes me happy
Sometimes our to-do lists seem so long it’s easy to confuse what’s really important. When we look back on our lives, we won’t wish we’d hoovered more often, checked Facebook more frequently, or stayed just that bit later at work. But we might wish we’d had more fun with our loved ones, or not lost contact with old friends. Think about what you’d really like to do more of, then consider how you can make that happen. Could you swap the school run for a school bike ride, so you have time to talk, or schedule in a monthly movie night with friends? Can you book a set time each week where everyone in the family gets to do something on their own that they really want to, whether it’s crafting, reading or just watching a film?
- Be present
There are so many things competing for our attention these days. Technology is fantastic, but it’s very easy to become too dependent on it. And our minds certainly tend to wander when someone’s telling us something we’re not that interested in, whether it’s work problems, or their school day. People respond to being listened to. Really listened to. It makes them feel valued. And they’re more likely to listen to you properly in turn. So, if you often find yourself telling your child off for not paying attention, or moaning at your other half for not remembering something you’ve told them, ask yourself whether you really listen to them in turn.
- Be a friend to myself
You wouldn’t criticise a friend for a mistake or because she’d put a few pounds on over Christmas, so why be so harsh on yourself? A good friend is also pretty good at giving us a talking to if we need one though, so don’t be afraid to ask your own opinion sometimes. How would you respond if a friend asked you the same question? What advice would you give her? How would you talk to her if you were worried about a relationship she was in, or a health issue?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
While only you can take the steps to change, you don’t have to take them alone. There are so many organisations out there that can help. Look for online forums, helplines, or local groups that can help you to hit your goals. Talk to friends and family members about what you want to achieve, and ask them to support you.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have, please feel free to share it.