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New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Goal Setting 20153 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

We are well into January and if you haven’t already flopped your New Year’s resolutions you have probably cheated at least once. So by now you know New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work!  But don’t feel bad, you are not the problem (this is the one time when you’re probably okay with the “it’s not you it’s me” explanation).  The reason is that New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure from the start and here are 3 reasons why:

  1. New Year’s resolutions are made during a high peak emotional season.  It’s New Year’s for goodness sake! The holidays make most people highly emotional. Reminds them of things/people lost, you start thinking of what could or should be, add that financial stress and you have the set up for a perfect storm.
  1. New Year’s resolutions tend to be Extreme!  Because they are created during such emotional times resolutions tend to be set very high without a plan of action.  When there are no visible results it all seems impossible leaving you disappointed.
  1. New Year’s resolutions don’t last.  Once you feel disappointed after not being able to see results to the highly unrealistic expectation you set for yourself you will start to slack off until you drop your resolutions completely as an impossible dream.

So you see, New Year’s Resolutions are a complete waste of time, so don’t make them! HOWEVER – there’s always a but isn’t there?! – instead of making a “New Year’s Resolution” take the time to set goals for yourself for the new year. And no, it is not the same thing.  While the intentions are the same the execution of it is completely different.  I, for one, am a firm believer that the road to hell was paved with good intentions.  While you mean well by setting New Year’s resolutions what you should be doing is waiting after the tumultuous time of the holiday season is over and take a good look at your situation.  Assess where you are, where you were and where you want to be.  This gives you a bit of perspective from a realistic non emotionally charged setting that can lead you to identify action steps to accomplish your goals for the year.  Just as I gave you 3 reasons New Year’s Resolutions do not work, I can give you 3 Ways to Help You Meet Your Goals:

  1. Identify long term and short term goals you want to accomplish. After taking a good look at yourself and what you want list those things you want to accomplish this year and moving forward.  For example: Buying a Home or getting out of debt tend to be long term goals that can take more than a year. While a short term goal can be getting  more exercise.
  1. Set action steps for each goal.  Once you have identified your long term and short term goals, identify specific smaller action steps you can take for each of the goals daily,weekly and/or monthly to get closer to the goal.  So, if your goal is to buy a home, maybe every week you will save a certain amount of money to put towards a down payment.  If your goal is to get more exercise one action step can be walking more or going to the gym once a week.
  1. Make yourself accountable by making your goals visible. Whether you make your goals your desktop wallpaper or you place post-it notes on your mirror, make sure that every week you look at what you’re working towards.  I like putting an index card with my goals and weekly action steps on my mirror, this served as a reminder.  If you have a close trusted friend/partner/spouse they can also help you be accountable by reminding you of your goals when your actions or talk seem to be diverging.  Not only making your goals & action steps visible make you accountable for them but it is also encouraging to see how each of those steps you check off are getting you closer to your

Fear Not!! If you already flopped your New Year’s Resolution, you don’t have to wait until next year to start over.  Now that all the hussle and bussle of the holidays are gone you can take an honest look at yourself and start working towards what you want now. Because just like the movie title remember, Tomorrow Never Comes.  You need to start Today!

 

Look Into the Crystal New Year’s Ball

Tips to achieving your 2014 Resolution5 Tips to Achieve Your 2014 Resolutions

The holiday season seems to come and go in a flash.  Not too long after Halloween we see the Thanksgiving decorations quickly followed by the Christmas décor all culminating with the ultimate holiday of all time, New Year’s Eve!

Ah, New Year’s Eve! I dare say that is the single most life altering holiday of all time, for adults anyway.  The power it possesses leads people to wait ALL Year Long to make life changing decisions they know all along they should had made but waited until New Year’s Day to start.  Just like most diets start on Monday, New Year’s Day is The Ultimate Monday.   As the beautifully crafted shiny crystal ball slowly drops in the middle of New York City’s Time Square the countdown begins to say goodbye to the previous year and hello to a blank slate we then fill with mental possibilities most call resolutions.  What is a resolution anyway?  If you ask Google resolution means “a firm decision to do or not to do something, the quality of being determined or resolute.”

During New Year’s Eve millions of people gather at Times Square or their living rooms to usher out the year as they gaze into the shiny lights of the Times Square Ball.  It seems that this geodesic sphere covered in Waterford Crystal triangles watched by millions of people serves as a Scrying ball, similar to what a gypsy does when looking into her crystal ball.  Rather than looking into the future this reflective ball serves as a tool for self-reflection. A time to assess the year that’s about to end and make firm decisions for the seemingly limitless future that starts January 1A time to assess the year that’s about to end and make firm decisions for the seemingly limitless future that starts January 1st, a very exciting time of closing bad chapters and starting new beginnings. st, a very exciting time of closing bad chapters and starting new beginnings. We verbally resolve to: Exercise, Eat healthier, Quit smoking/drinking, Spend more time with loved ones, Go to church, Learn a new skill or, _____(you fill the blank).  We set out to do anything we hope will serve as an improvement from our previous year.  The problem is that we tend to make vague resolutions, so general that no real plan is really developed and by the middle of the month most resolutions are forgotten or pushed to the first Monday of the year, after all no one wants to start something challenging on the weekend.  Making resolutions is not the problem; it is our failure to identify reachable and realistic action steps to achieve each of those goals.

Here are a 5 tips on how to actually accomplish this year’s New Year’s Resolution5 Tips to Achieve your resolution

  1. Write it down – Make a list of all your resolutions and organize them by priority.
  2. Break it down – Identify 3 small action steps that will help you achieve each item
  3. Set Timelines – Don’t wait until the end of the year to assess your progress, set a realistic timeline for yourself to accomplish each action step. Put it on your calendar.
  4. Make it Visible – Don’t make the list and burry it in your drawer or save it somewhere in your computer where you will never see it again. Keep it visible and make sure to check it periodically. I don’t mean on social media platforms but somewhere for You to see.
  5. Don’t do it alone – If you have a hard time being accountable for yourself, identify a trusted person that can be your accountability partner. Someone that will help remind you of your goals. Remember, it is not their job to make you do it, that is all on you! They are simply there to encourage you and remind you that you have control of your own future.

As you can see, there is no magic potion, pixie dust or even crystal ball that can wipe away your previous year and make all your hopes and dreams for the new year a reality.  Your 2014 will be determined by the choices you make starting right now, it is your level of determination that will dictate whether or not you will successfully check off most of your resolutions.

Cheers to a defining 2014!