There is no magic pill for making and keeping New Year resolutions. A wish written on the back of a cocktail napkin at the stroke of midnight on December 31 does not automatically come true. It takes hard work, sacrifice, clarity of thought, and a realistic, written plan, to succeed. If you truly want to make and keep a New Year resolution, fulfill a dream, or achieve a daily goal – tackle the challenge, one step at a time, one day at a time. Banish the ‘Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome.’ Instead make every day, New Year’s Day. Make every day day count in the coming year.
Rather than growing frustrated and depressed over that same tired list of resolutions – the one that you ignored last January – dare to be different. Try something new. Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. During the next 12 months, pursue just one dream that inspires passion, interest and desire. Make your dream achievable with careful forethought. Define your dream with a simple, one-sentence resolution that outlines the ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’. Then make that dream and resolution a reality with a plan that consists of small steps that you can take take one at a time, one day at a time over the course of a year. But don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking that you have to complete all of your daily goals ‘today’. Start small. First, focus on today’s goal(s) and the week ahead. As you gain momentum, the plotting, planning, and achieving gets easier and easier to manage.
Over the years, this simple, common sense strategy has enabled me achieve a wide array of dreams – both large and small – including my commitment to exercise, health and fitness; and my determination to stop smoking, earn college degrees, buy a home, master photography, show gratitude, and write daily . . . to name a few of the priorities on my ‘Lifetime Resolution List’ (the resolutions that I make and keep, permanently). If you are ready to consider the next steps in crafting a resolution that fits you and your lifestyle, keep these common sense tips in mind:
STEP ONE: Create A Lifetime Resolution List, All The Things You Would Love To Do & Achieve!
- Choose the right resolution, something you truly want to ‘do’ every day.
- Choose a resolution that is important to you.
- Choose a resolution about which you are passionate and interested.
- Choose a resolution to which you can commit yourself 100%.
- Choose a resolution that can become a lifetime habit, or an on-going source of achievement, reward and joy.
STEP TWO: Question your motivation and desire.
- Analyze: Ask yourself “Why this resolution”?
- Analyze: Ask yourself, “Is this resolution ‘realistic”?
- Analyze: Ask yourself, “Will I enjoy pursuing this resolution each day”?
- Analyze: Ask yourself, “Can I visualize this resolution, see it in my mind’s eye, and picture myself doing it every day”?
STEP THREE: Adopt a simple system of resolution-setting and resolution-keeping.
- Dare To Dream: Open your mind to all the wonderful possibilities – ‘Yes’ you can achieve your chosen resolution if you believe in yourself, your gifts and talents.
- Decide: Resolve to pursue your resolution with commitment and great determination.
- Define: In one sentence, outline the ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’ of your resolution.
- Do Your Homework And Research: Identify the necessary tasks and goals to get your started.
- Develop A. Plan: Determine the large, long-range steps, and break them into small daily tasks; revise your plan as you learn and grow.
- Do It Daily: Pursue at least one small step/goal each and every day, according to a timeline and deadlines.
- Do A ‘Daily Resolution Diary’: Write it down.
- Do Daily And Weekly ‘Check-Ins’: Chart progress, identify obstacles, make course corrections, and reward yourself for accomplishments.
STEP FOUR: Identify landmines and defuse them.
- Don’t Procrastinate: Banish the ‘Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome’.
- Don’t Give In To Fear Of Success, Or Fear Of Failure: Face challenges with courage, let go of the past, learn from your mistakes, and move forward into your future.
- Don’t Get Overwhelmed, Or Discouraged: Be focused, but flexible; and follow your plan, but be willing to make revisions.
- Don’t Grow Bored, Weary, Or Burned Out: Seek variety in your goals and pace yourself
- Don’t Give Up: Take a break!
STEP FIVE: Case a wide net – identify and use a wide array of tools to succeed.
- Hold yourself accountable with your journal, by asking friends and family to offer reminders, and joining a blogging community.
- Enlist a ‘Resolution Partner’ to join you in your journey, lend support and ideas, and share the fun.
- Find a mentor to offer advice and inspiration.
- Join a class, or club, to increase your knowledge and skill level within an organized structure.
- Seek daily support from your family.
- Open your eyes: Accept inspiration from the ordinary and extraordinary in your world.
- Believe in yourself and your resolution throughout the ups and downs.
- Be organized, disciplined, committed, passionate, and motivated by your victories.
- Don’t replace your dreams with regret – instead, ‘Go For It’!
- Don’t set the bar too high – instead, give yourself time to learn how to soar over it.
- Challenge yourself, but be realistic about your daily, weekly and monthly expectations.
- Celebrate your successes and reward yourself often!
- Always Remember: Success breeds success; each success builds on another, like a stairway to the stars!
This is just a snapshot of the many ingredients that are necessary to make and keep a New Year Resolution. Bottom line: All the books, videos, systems, blogs, and advice in the world can’t generate results ‘for you’ – they are simply tools. If you truly want to achieve a dream, change something about yourself, create a new habit – it is entirely up to you to make it happen with ingenuity, hard work and sacrifice. It is your choice. It is up to you. Only ‘you’ can make your resolution a reality…but the joy and reward you will find along the way will make the journey worth it!
Remember: I Resolve To…Achieve My New Year Resolutions, One Resolution, One Day At A Time For One Year. It’s your choice. Do it today. Turn your resolution into reality in five simple, common sense steps: Dare To Dream, Decide, Define, Develop A Plan, and Do It Daily. Make your resolution a permanent Lifetime Resolution, something that’s with you for good! Above all, Be A Resolutionista, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey! Let’s Go For It!