New Year, New Me?

As the New Year approaches, we are quickly reminded of all the things we hope to change in 2017 and also, all of the resolutions we failed to fulfill this year in 2016. Often we create resolutions for ourselves that fail within a few months. If this year you are resolving to eat healthier, hit the gym more, or just practice being an overall better person, you first need to come up with practical and attainable resolutions and understand the steps needed to stick with them. A crucial mistake people make when creating their resolutions is that they are often unrealistic, achievable, or lack meaning and purpose. One way to ensure that you are more likely to stick with the resolutions you put into place is to come up with resolutions that are realistic, achievable, and meaningful to you. When the goal becomes more practical and the expectations placed on yourself remain realistic, it makes achieving the goal that much easier.

The first step in creating your resolutions for the upcoming year should be to come up with an inventory. The inventory can be sectioned off into three things. These three components should consist of goals, behaviors, and attitudes. Under your goals, behaviors, and attitudes should be listed the numbers one through five. Here you can list goals you hope to fulfill within the upcoming year (such as: health, relationships, work, and finances). Next you can list behaviors that you would like to change this year, for example any behaviors that have caused problems in the past (fighting, excessive drinking, gambling, or yelling), and finally you can list attitudes. List five things about your attitude that have caused problems previously such as jealousy, unrealistic expectations, impatience, or greed.  By sectioning your inventory off it can help you to narrow down things that you are not so proud of or would like to make a more conscientious effort to change, without appearing so intimidating.

Next, you would create your resolutions from your inventory. Try to come up with five resolutions from your inventory and then place them in order of importance, must do, and can do. Make certain that these are resolutions you KNOW you are capable of doing and that they are realistic. Instead of setting you up for failure by committing to “finding a better job”, commit to “looking” for a better job. By presenting a goal to your self as “working on it”, it may be more doable than the unspoken pressure of “getting it done”. If you tell yourself you have to get something done, the likelihood is less of that than something you are working towards.

The final piece is coming up with the steps for your resolutions. Now you that you have finally come up with your resolutions you need to think about the steps that it will take to make these resolutions within reach. If for example you are committing to stopping smoking as your first resolution, your three steps could be: 1. Buy one less pack per week 2. Try nicotine gum 3. Buy a nicotine patch. If your resolution is to start walking everyday some steps may include: 1. Buy walking shoes 2. Factor exercise into your schedule 3. Walk a little more every day. By coming up with steps, you are putting in your mind what you know you need to do to get the goal done instead of just going for it. By thinking out the steps it makes the bigger picture less frightening. The steps created for yourself again, need to be steps you believe that you are capable of actually getting done. Realistic and achievable.

When this is all done, review these resolutions aloud with someone else or over again to yourself. Verbalizing your resolutions can be the one big push needed in order to get them done! As silly as some people may find resolutions to be, it is never too late to work on yourself! We are always a work in progress.

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