How to change your New year’s Resolutions into plans and goals
The New Year’s Resolution is a tradition that dates back to Ancient Rome. The first month of the Roman calendar was named after Janus, a two faced god believed to have looked forward to the coming year and back upon the previous simultaneously at the start of the New Year.
With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.
Plans for the New Year usually include parties, for many, and the inevitable, New Year’s resolutions. For most, resolutions are dreams and hopes that are seldom fulfilled. By spring time, most resolutions have been forgotten. Do you even remember the resolutions you made last year? This article will help you choose meaningful New Year’s resolutions and turn them into goals and plans for sticking to them.
- New Year’s Resolution
DEFINE THE NATURE OF YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:
Most people wish to make their lives or the lives of the people around them better. Very common resolutions:
- weight loss
- make more money
- save more money
- develop or improve relationships
- become more charitable
- help others
These are all very worthwhile resolutions, but without specific goals and plans for implementation, they are only hopes. You don’t need a list of 10. Just choose a few that mean the most to you.
- Plan to save money
RESTATE YOUR GOALS, ON PAPER, AS SPECIFIC PLANS:
- Instead of “save money for next Christmas so I don’t have to use my credit card”, resolve to “save every coin I touch this year and limit my shopping budget to the amount I saved”
- Instead of “eat healthier foods”, resolve to pack your own lunch at least 4 days a week and include fresh raw fruits or vegetables in every lunch.
- Put plans on paper
IMPLEMENT YOUR PLANS:
First, you have to remember your resolutions. Second, you have to make it easy to keep your resolutions. Examples:
- If you plan to take a multivitamin every day, program your computer or cell
phone, or leave yourself a note in a prominent place to remind you.
- If you plan to “pay-down” the principal on your home mortgage, have an extra amount automatically taken out of your bank account each month and sent to your lender.
- If you plan to spend more intimate time with your loved ones, schedule a time every week to do just that. Resolve to keep this “date” and only cancel for an emergency.
- If you plan to de-clutter your house, go through your house once a week with a box and fill it with things that can either be discarded, recycled, or donated to a charity organization. Get the stuff out of your house within an hour of collecting it.
- Tell your friends and family what you plan to do
It’s harder to “cheat” when you know everyone is watching you. It holds you accountable, but only do this step if it will help you. Otherwise, just tell a few trusted friends.
- Get support!!!
Find people who will encourage you and give you advice when you need it. This could be a good friend or an online support community.
- Find another person who is trying to reach the same goal
Like if your goal is to loose weight, find someone else who is trying to loose weight also and “do it together”.
- Take baby steps
Break up your larger goal into smaller more reachable goals. Like if you really need to loose 60 pounds, instead of thinking, “I’m going to loose 60 pounds this year”, think “I’m going to loose 10 pounds in 2 months.” The second goal looks a lot less daunting than the first.
- Don’t scrap your resolutions if you mess up
Say your resolution is to stop biting your nails and right before a big job interview you bite off all your nails that you have been trying to grow for a month. Well, just file them neatly and start again. Or say your goal is to loose 60 pounds and you just ate a whole cake by yourself. Just remember, tomorrow is a new day and start again. Don’t give up, just because you messed up. It’s an on going process to reach your goals.
About The Author
Vijay Batra is an MBA, from University of Pittsburgh, USA and a graduate of the Japan Management Program from JAIMS, Hawaii, USA. He joined Kankaku Securities (subsidiary of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank) as a lifetime employee in 1987.