Happy New Year!

Are you ready to make 2017 the best year ever! Traditionally New Year’s is a time when people reflect on the past. What worked and what didn’t? What can I improve and what should I leave behind? However, if you want to make 2017 a productive and a joyous New Year, following are 7 principles that can help:


(1) Choose Wisely

As the New Year approaches it’s custom to make a New Year’s resolution.  However, the reason why many fail to achieve their goals is because they set their goals too high. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. State clear and concise goals. In order to make wise choices, you need to know what it is that you want. If you are not clear about what you want, it is impossible for you to create an action plan that will help you achieve what it is that you want.
  2. Do not rush this part of the process. Spend a few days thinking about what you want; take time to examine your motives. For instance, ask yourself why do you want this goal?
  3. Allow yourself a maximum of ten days to ponder, consider, challenge, research and otherwise give thought to what it is you truly want.
  4. By the end of those ten days write your goal down, and read it out loud. Still sound good? If the answer is yes, then you have accomplished the first step in articulating your goal.


(2) Be Specific

The more details and parameters you have, the easier it will be for you to achieve your goals in the New Year.  For example, instead of wishing for a better life, a perfect partner or wishing for a more pleasant situation, be specific about what it is that you want.

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An essential part of getting what you desire is clearly expressing what you truly desire. Study, or become an expert on the topic. For instance, if your desire is to attract a new love into your life, learn all it is you need to know about the person you hope to attract. You can do this by first writing down all the qualities and attributes your new partner will have. And, don’t just write down things like he/she will be nice or funny really get specific. Write down tons of details like where he/she might work, if they love volunteering, like pets, are spiritual, want kids or love to travel.

After you have done this think about the places you might meet a person with these qualities and attributes. Will he/she be hanging out at the Yacht Club or will they be found volunteering at an animal shelter. The more specific you are, in this part of the process, the more knowledge and motivation you will have to actually accomplish this goal.


(3) Create A Plan

Unfortunately, the majority of individuals who make a new year’s resolution end up breaking it. By February, nearly half have already failed.  Proper planning is extremely critical in achieving a New Year’s resolution. I believe that constructing an effective plan is vital to one’s success therefore, I tend to create goals that include timelines and benchmarks in order to measure my accomplishments. By formulating a plan, and outlining exactly how you intend on achieving it, you are holding yourself accountable, and we all know that accountability is the key to attaining and achieving any goal.


(4) Make a Commitment

I read somewhere that it takes anywhere between 21-28 days to form a habit. Well, I don’t know how true that is, but I do believe that once you make a commitment to change something your doing or not doing, that these things are required:
  1. Discipline or strict obedience
  2. Being clear about your choice
  3. Using force is necessary such as using physical energy or power
  4. Practice as in action is required to make improvements


(5) Set Deadlines

Deadlines create a sense of urgency and make our goals a priority. Without establishing deadlines most people will put their goals off forever, accomplishing very little to nothing at all. Simply put, no deadline, no real incentive to get things done.


(6) Post Reminders

You have probably heard that old saying, “out of sight out of mind.” Therefore writing your New Year’s resolution down and keeping it in view–say, on a post-it note on your computer monitor, your bathroom mirror or your car dashboard–makes it feel official and tangible.

Be sure to use clear, short and focused phrases. For instance if your goal is to lose weight then you might say things like: I am my perfect and ideal weight. If your goal is to get into a loving and romantic relationship you might use a short phrase like: I am a good person and I deserve a beautiful and loving partner.


(7) Use a Reward System

No good deed goes unnoticed, therefore be sure to reward yourself when you accomplish or do something that will help you achieve your goal. This doesn’t mean that you should reward yourself with a pint of ice cream if your resolution is to lose 15 pounds. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you’ve been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, perhaps your reward could be to treat yourself to a night out to a movie with a friend.


To conclude, the New Year is more than goal setting and New Year’s resolutions, it’s about new beginnings. To quote one of my hero’s, “Queen of All Media” and the greatest female Black philanthropist in American history, Oprah Winfrey:

“Year’s end is neither an ending nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

So, to all of you out there who have a desire to do better, be better and bring about more success into your life use these seven principles to not only help you jump-start your New Year’s resolutions but to also welcome in new ideas, new opportunities, and new beginnings. Happy New Year! And, welcome to 2017.

This article was originally published on FindingHappily.com and is republished here with the author’s permission.

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