When making New Year’s Resolutions, it is tempting to make generalised, lavish expectations – “to be happier”, “to be fitter” – in hopes that anything we do throughout the year, even as our motivation dwindles past the first couple months, will contribute to the success of those resolutions. But resolutions shouldn’t be something we make half-heartedly, because when they lack thought, they will never work out. Here are a few of my tips for making resolutions that we can stick to:
Quantity will help us avoid generalised and vague resolutions. Set specific goals: for example, instead of “to be fitter”, try “to go to the gym three times a week” or “to run the local 5k marathon”, or instead of “to learn a new language”, try “to gain a beginner’s qualification in Italian”. Give yourself something to strive towards, rather than that which is hard to measure. Otherwise you will just feel lost and never satisfied with anything you do.
Make your resolutions realistic enough for you to actually be motivated to do them. I encourage you to have dreams in all aspects of your life, but don’t expect to become an expert at something in a year or to be able to go from 0 to 100 without any preparation at all. Be challenging, but make your resolutions doable, otherwise you will easily feel like a failure and rapidly lose interest.
If your resolutions are not controllable, for example “to win the lottery”, you are already increasing your chance of failure from the very beginning. Resolutions can be your dreams and goals, but make sure that a majority of its success can be achieved by you, without having to rely heavily on chances that are out of your control.
Reflecting on the past year is just as important as looking forward to the new, and this can be instrumental to your success in the New Year. For example, you may have found that your occasional yoga session really helped improve your outlook on life, such as reducing stress. So if you want to be happier in the New Year, why not make a resolution about fitting a yoga session in three times a week? Looking at what has worked for you and what hasn’t worked for you in the past can help you define what will work for you in the New Year too.
What are some of your tips for New Year’s Resolutions?
2014 is coming up any minute, and New Year’s resolutions are in the making. But we have to put some thought in it, because that’s the only way they are going to be the most worthwhile and the most achievable.
What worked well last year, and how could you continue to grow on this path and step to the next level?
What did you regret about last year, and what could motivate you to change this part of your life?
What is something you’ve never done or haven’t been able to do that you’ve always wanted to?
The key thing to remember is that this is your new year. You are in control of your future, how you determine your future, and how you perceive your future. You can choose what you stick to and what you give up, what you have passion for and what you make excuses for, what you embrace and what you cower away from.
One of my favourite songs of the moment is I Feel Alive by We The Kings, and I think it captures the spirit of what we should feel in life: that we’re alive. And its time to feel the most alive, make the most of life, and make 2014 the best year yet. Happy New Year!
A New Year squeezes our shoulders again and guides us forward into the future. It is a time where we reflect on the year gone by, the good memories we will cherish and the mistakes we made that we now have learnt from. The New Year inspires optimism and hope for that which we wish to accomplish, and provides us with a clean slate to redefine ourselves and our lives to our choosing, even if by the time we return to school and work and routine nothing much will feel different except the date you sign on a piece of paper. But although it may be the case that the newfound optimism and hope can slip away at times, you must never lose the feeling of taking control of your life and dedicating yourself to becoming the person you want to be, however small the resolution is; this is how we grow. We must take these moments, because they create the catalyst. So I encourage everyone to make a resolution, something attainable, that can remind you of the special feelings that the New Year produces to last throughout the whole of 2013, and motivate you towards what you aspire to be. If I have learnt anything from 2012, it is that there is nothing more important than staying true to who you believe you are and should be, regardless of anyone else’s opinions. As Dr Seuss once said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. Happy New Year!