New Year Resolutions are contracts we make with ourselves, but share openly with others. To avoid disappointment, make them reasonable and attainable.
How many times have you promised yourself that tomorrow will be better? You’ll give up smoking; lose weight; take up exercise; eat more healthy meals; go and enjoy yourself; apply for that job of your dreams or maybe do some study. How many times then? I know—the list is endless. Too often, tomorrow just doesn’t come.
The idea of the resolution dates back to about 150BC to the time of Janus. He was the ancient Roman God of what’s now termed ‘Gates and Doors’ (1).
He was believed to have two faces: One pointing to the past and the other to the future. He could therefore look in both directions (2).
He found his position at the head of the yearly calendar where he was best placed to look forward and backward. This period became one of hope and promise where Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies. It was a time for the exchange of gifts with neighbors as all welcomed in the New Year.
Today is very much the same. The time signifies a new beginning. We make our resolutions—many of which are over ambitious—and we promise to be the very best we can in the year ahead. It’s a time for working harder and smarter to achieve our dreams and goals.
Many people make a joke of their resolutions and don’t treat them with the seriousness they deserve. About 40% of the population makes resolutions. Of those, about 60% keeps them initially but after 6 months, that percentage dwindles to about 45% and as time passes, the percentage shrinks even more (3).
The following seven points can assist in embracing the concept of resolutions and understanding how important they can be to your life:
- Make it a time for reflection and introspection
- Embrace the power you have to initiate change
- Ask positive questions; formulate powerful answers
- Keep your focus no matter what you encounter
- Know the impact your resolutions can have on your future
- Believe that your future will become more empowered
- Rewarding small and large successes builds confidence
Sometimes a mentor or coach is a great acquisition to help you formulate those resolutions. This individual has the experience to help you stay on track and remain focused and determined. You can also use family members and friends to help you stay the distance.
Don’t allow others to push you from your path. Make up your mind that your end goal is going to be achieved, irrespective of what you encounter, even the negativity from others. They just don’t have the same resolve you do.
You don’t ever have to wait for the New Year to begin your resolutions. Any time during the year is an ideal time to empower and enrich your journey. You can make those life-enriching resolutions at any time of the year. When you feel inspired by someone or something, put that new found enthusiasm to work and begin to build on your dreams and goals. Don’t stand by and do nothing—the future doesn’t stand still and neither should you.
Be grateful for every positive step you take and understand the place that faltering also has in your life. If you fall off the wagon just shake yourself off, take stock and get back on. That becomes a very positive and powerful step in itself.
As you achieve your successes, write them in your journal/diary in red ink: Celebrate them and be grateful for just how far you’ve come. Formulate positive sentences to commemorate those achievements: ‘Thank you for the win in the weekend game’: ‘Thank you for the very successful outcome with the operation’: ‘Thank you for the fantastic party with family members and friends over the weekend’: ‘Thanks for the successful signing of the contracts.’ The list is endless.
At the end of the year, stop and look back on your many successes. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the places where you faltered. Be grateful for how far you’ve come and remember to celebrate your success, no matter how small it might be.
Imagine the possibilities ….