So, Christmas is almost upon us, and that means that 2014 is in its last few days. And what a year it has been! Whether this year has been good or bad, it is coming to an end and that means that it is time to clean the slate and prepare for a new year.
How are we going to make this next year even better than the last? That’s all we really need, right? Improvement makes the world go around, and we have to find the ways in which we are going to improve ourselves and our lives in this next calendar year.
One of the most common ways of attempting change is through the writing of New Year Resolutions, where you resign yourself to a goal that you want to achieve as soon as possible.
In my opinion, there are many flaws with the way resolutions are often approached, and I myself use a slightly different tact which has helped me to achieve more of my goals in the last couple years than ever before.
As I firmly believe, attitude is 60% of the work. With a good attitude, 60% of your workload is covered, you’ve got a strong foundation and source of energy in yourself in the healthy and balanced way you think. It’s the same in writing your resolutions – How does your attitude affect your writing???
Paying careful attention to your attitude, and how it comes across in your writing, can be really useful in checking yourself and finding optimal phrasing.
I know how easy it is to write a goal like “Get of a** and actually do some acting” (I believe I actually used that one in the past) but it’s not making it any easier or any more likely to be achieved. Try to find a way of phrasing that can emphasise your determination, energy and passion for the goal (even if you have to play it up as more than it is — Better to over do it than under do it)
So, instead of using the previous phrase before, I might say “I will pursue roles that fascinate me and do my best to be cast in them” which is both realistic and positive.
So many resolutions go something like this “Lose 12lb”, “pass driving test”, “Be more happy” or “Quit drinking” All very blunt, all very lifeless, all very ‘off at some point in the future I’m not really sure of’. None of which are very helpful for being an achiever.
The way I write my resolutions is from the prospective on looking back at the end of the coming year.
I begin my resolution with “By the end of 2015, I…” and then follow it with retrospective goals that I wish to have fulfilled by the date I read it later, not some vague time in the future after I have written and forgotten about my resolutions.
For example, “[By the end of 2014, I] want to have been consistently happy” or “[By the end of 2014, I] want to have made mostly decisions that I felt confident and assured in” or “[By the end of 2014, I] Want to have my website up and running”
All of those are goals that I am very proud to say I have acheived. Notice how they aren’t too fixed, they are positively phrases and focus on the retrospective evaluation as a guide, not the “I’m gonna do this later” attitude of the other example.
Keep a diary
This year, I tried an experiment and decided to keep a resolution journal. A diary in which I kept my year’s resolutions and could write journal entries at points where I felt I wanted/needed to document. This idea, even if I didn’t do it an awful lot, went very well and I now have something to look back on as I work through next year’s resolutions.
Another purpose of this journal was to give me a little boost when I needed reminding of WHY I was working towards these goals.
We all have weak times and those days where we just feel like “What’s the point? Why am I doing this again?” and that time is when you need your ‘full self’ to step up and remind you of your mission.
Keeping a detailed record of your journey can help to keep you powering on thought those times where you want to give up, just because the horizon’s a little too far away sometimes.
Remember that it’s your thing
I know how tempting it is when people ask “So, what are your resolutions this year?” to just spill every detail until you feel like they aren’t even your goals anymore. It’s tough and can really take the steam out of your engine.
Try to think up a short little outline of your goals what doesn’t give up everything, but gives just enough so people are satisfied as well as knowing that it’s your thing, your business and not really THAT open for discussion.
I am always reminded of the phrase “Mind your mind, for it will surely spoil” when I think of telling people my plans. It’s a risk and sometimes it’s best to have an educated and rehearsed response for when times are tricky.
In my whole life, I cannot think of even one occasion where I got caught up in trouble by be careful about my words.
Also remember that you reserve the right to change! maybe later on you DON’T want to convert that attic or you DON’T want to shed that extra KG. Life changes, nothing is constant and your goals, in no way, have to be fixed. You’re allowed to change your mind.
Believe in yourself
This is often the hardest step for people because, sadly, in modern society is very common for people to be subconsciously trained to feel bad for wanting something or believing they are capable of what they want or being better than they are supposed to think they are. Society teaches us that it is bad to be selfish, bad to want and terrible to have the cheek to go after something purely because we want it.
Well, I have news for you! Life’s too short to put up with that bovine waste for one minute, let alone your whole life.
Do you know what I believe? I believe that we are all here for only a certain time. Whether we live just one life, many lives or have an afterlife awaiting us. Our time in the here and now is precious and we owe it to ourselves, our loved ones and those beautiful results of fate, luck and serendipity that got us here today! We are lucky and we are alive right now – so we can achieve.
I believe that you can do it I believe that there is a power in you to do great things and I just KNOW it’s just down to you to use it.
Now, having goals is all well and good at the start, but the problem is often recalling them. I can tell myself that I’m no longer going to drink energy drinks after 5pm, but the question is whether I will REMEMBER that rule at 5:15 the next day when I’m cracking open a can of Relentless!
Try to come up with some method of regularly reminding yourself of your goals and resolutions so there is less chance of them just slipping from your mind.
Give yourself an incentive
This also feeds into remembering that it’s your thing, checking yourself and self belief as giving yourself and incentive, whether it be intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, it means that you are on a mission for yourself, you’re striving for something which has some form of physical or emotional reward at the end and that you have a reminder to achieve the goals, especially if the ‘prize’ is something you want a lot.
Next year, I have decided that if I achieve 3/4 of my resolutions, I am going to get myself an iPhone or macbook and if I achieve ALL of them, I’m going to go on a trip somewhere awesome (Maybe America, Japan, Australia or Italy)
Now, believe me, next year’s resolutions aren’t going to be easy – but I’m already hyped up!
Wanting to achieve your goals for the sake of achieving your goals is fantastic, but it does sometimes help to have that little extra motivation that can keep you going when your actual goals are p***ing you off.
They say that doing good by others does good by your soul and I really agree with that. Very little feels better than that moment you realise that you have done something that has made someone feel truly happy or loved.
At the beginning of the year, my sister and best friend went out on Valentine’s Day to spread some love and caring to all, thinking both of those who were happy and those who would be sad. We wanted to do something to really brighten people’s Valentine’s Days and so we decided to do a Free Hugs and Free Balloons stand so we could give people a balloon and a hug
This event was so lovely as so many people were surprised that 1) We weren’t asking for money for the balloons and 2) that young people in the community would think to do such a thing! It wasn’t our first Random Acts of Kindness event (and won’t be our last) and nothing beats seeing that look in people’s eyes where they feel cared for purely because we are both human, with no other obligation or reason than love and humanity.
So, in your resolutions try to think of some ways or set some goals that can help others around you. And make sure you tell those you help “Don’t pay it back, pay it forward”
Good ol’ pen and paper
One nice idea for a resolution is to include with it a letter addressed to yourself at the end of next year, from your present self to talk about the goals, the plans and where you were that will lead to where you end up next year. It can be a great way of seeing how far you have come in the year and could also be a good pick-me-up for those times where failure feels like it’s creeping up on you and you need a good dose of motivation.
So, I hope that this piece has helped you in some ways with the writing and keeping of your resolutions. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please share them in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter or using the contact form below! Good luck with those resolutions! Xx
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