Choosing Your New Year's Resolutions
At this time of year, you may be considering whether you're going to make a New Year's resolution. Maybe you've made them in the past and lost interest over time. Or perhaps you buckled down and followed through. Either way, you're now facing the beginning of another new year.
Even if you're less-than-thrilled with your follow-through in prior years, the new year brings amazing opportunities to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways.
Try these ideas to help you set up your resolutions so you'll be successful during the coming year:
Select an area of your life that's important to you. One of the keys to choosing your New Year's resolutions is selecting a goal that truly matters. Ideally, you can find something you want more than anything. This will help keep you dedicated.
Be specific. The whole idea of making a New Year's resolution can seem over-simplified. You'll hear people say, "My New Year's resolution is to get in to shape" or "I want to work less."
- Let's take our example. How can we make it more specific?
- For the resolution to get into shape, why not state it in more detail? Consider committing to specifics, such as, "I want to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, 6 out of 7 nights per week."
Make your resolution measurable. How will you measure your results?
- In our example, we can start a daily sleep journal to ensure that we attain our goal. Many of us forget how well we slept the night before once we're well into our day. Create a daily habit of journalling the hours and quality of your sleep every morning.
Structure your resolution using mini-goals. Consider cutting your overall goal into smaller, separate goals. Select the first mini-goal to accomplish in the process and designate it as your New Year's resolution for the first 3 months.
- Let's go back to our example. You want to to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, 6 out of 7 nights per week. Suppose you're only getting 5 hours now.
- Each week, go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you did the week before until you have the potential of getting 7 hours of sleep.
- If waking up multiple times to go to the bathroom is an issue, reduce your water intake in the hours before going to bed..
Be realistic. It might not be possible for you to accomplish everything you want in just one year. But you probably can be well on your way to your goal by the end of the year if your New Year's resolution is within reasonable standards.
When selecting your New Year's resolutions, focus on what matters to you. Be specific and make your resolutions measurable. Use mini-goals and be realistic in establishing whatever resolutions you select.
By addressing your resolution as a process rather than just a goal, you're much more likely to succeed. And when you achieve one goal, you're more apt to set resolutions and accomplish them in the years that follow. Start this year to make each year your best one ever!