Does anyone else feel like it was 2004 just yesterday? Hopefully while you were soaking up the rays on your holiday vacation, you were also pondering the new year and what you can do to make it better! The numbers might be moving forward but one thing that unfortunately often stays the same is the number of resolutions that go unsuccessful each year. People have an innate tendency to see the future positively and to look at things as being easier to do at a later time in the future, like when we say we’ll exercise tomorrow…you know the drill! But the best thing we can realize now, is that the best time to do something is…NOW! not tomorrow! Everyone’s guilty of procrastinating at one time or another, but there are things we can do to prevent our procrastination.
So what’s the secret to making resolutions that will actually stick? No, you don’t have to shy away from the ones you really want, instead you need to make your resolutions small enough to be manageable.
Break it Down
Think of all your goals in terms of small pieces. Break down your goals. Don’t get stuck fearing the immensity.
Get There in Steps
Set specific tasks to reach each one. The more specific you are, the better.
This year when asked what my resolutions were, I realized that I didn’t take time to think of anything specific beforehand so I did so after. Every day of the year I take note of the skills I need to acquire, the ones I want to perfect, and the ones I’m working on every day.
In college I had one year where I was on the best sleeping schedule. I went to bed at 9:30-10pm and woke up between 5-6am. It was my most productive year, and now…I want it back! To start, I’ll be less extreme. Going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 7am is where I’ll start.
Stay Organized: Make Lists
As the work week begins make a general list of the tasks you want to accomplish each day and a timeline for doing so. While breaking the days into hour increments will normally suffice, never shy away from getting even more specific. Time is of the essence.
Envision your Goal Long Term, but Focus on it in the Short Term
There’s a fine line between overwhelming yourself with the future and seeing it clearly enough to stay focused on your goals long term. When you set a goal, try to envision not only successfully completing the goal but making it last. Reaching goals takes active attention in the short term, and a clear vision for the long term.
Know Going into it that you WILL Falter…but don’t Turn it into a Complete Fail
Ever heard of the “What the Hell Effect?” It has been noted that when people cheat or do something they say they won’t, (i.e. they eat a bag of chips when they know they told themselves they wouldn’t), people will often cheat even more because they have the mindset, “Well, I already cheated so I might as well keep going…but I’ll start fresh tomorrow.”
SCREW the “What the Hell Effect!” Even if you falter a bit, don’t make it worse! Recognize it, and stop it in its tracks.
Every year should be a year in which you learn, grow, change, improve yourself, love fiercely, live passionately, and laugh frequently.