Another year is coming to an end. Last year’s New Years resolutions decided to hang around a bit longer. But don’t worry, a new year is right around the corner. Ah yes, the joy of New Year’s Eve, the anticipation of the infamous New Years countdown, the champagne, the first kiss of the year, the camaraderie of everyone welcoming the new year, and of course, the same old New Years Resolutions.
Every year, tons of well intentioned people set these new goals for themselves to look better, make more money, connect with more friends, get into a relationship, get OUT of a relationship, start a business, and so on. The problem is that most of these well intentioned people end up giving up just to set the same goals the following New Year.
Hey, I’ve done this myself so I’m not here to criticize. After a few years of setting similar goals and failing to accomplish them, I decided things had to change. I had to figure out why when push came to shove, I backed down. When things got hard, I stopped. Heck, there were even some New Year resolutions I set but never even got started on.
There were several reasons, but the main ones for me were…
1. Thinking “there’s always next year”
2. I have a whole year, I’ll start next month
Now your reasons may be completely different. The point is to acknowledge those reasons to find out how to overcome them.
For me, I had to put myself in the mindset of “now”. Next year may not come, the time is here and now. One month passed is one month wasted and I have no time to waste. I only live for so long, so let’s do this thing!
The challenge that most people seem to have is knowing they can re-resolve to obtain their goal at the beginning of next year. Look at your current New Years resolutions. Do they look familiar? If they’re the same ones as last year and the year before that, then something’s got to change.
Statistics show that highest gym membership sign ups happen in January. The trend seems to be, sign up in January, quit by March, start over again next year. Why is that? You may say because they weren’t motivated enough or didn’t have the right diet/exercise program. This may be somewhat true, but if they were completely resolved to what they intended to do, they should’ve have quit right? But since many do end up outright quitting, their New Years resolutions are merely New Year wishes.
Just for fun, let’s look at the top New Years resolutions for 2009. This isn’t the official Top New Years Resolution of 2009 of course, but hey, who knows, maybe it is. What I’m about to list is my guess of what the top New Years resolutions are for this coming year and see how close I get to the actual list. And no, I haven’t peaked at the answers. This won’t be in any particular order. Here I go.
Top New Years Resolutions of 2009:
Make more money
Spend less money / get out of debt
Lose weight / get into shape / eat healthier
Spend more time with friends and family
Start a business
Get a new job (should be a big one with this economy)
Volunteer / donate
Quit smoking / quit drinking
Not have to repeat same resolution next year
Are any of your resolutions on this list? Just for fun, go Google “2009 Top New Years Resolutions” and see what you find. I bet at least 70% of this year’s top resolutions are the same as last years and that next year’s top list will be about the same as this years.
If we all did what we stated we were “resolved” to do, then most of these things on this list should be maintenance goals shouldn’t it? It should look more like this instead.
A Better Resolutions List:
Continue to make more money
Stay out of debt
Maintain current weight and eating habits
Have more “me” time
Find new places to visit
Get a promotion
Give more than last year
Help friends to quit smoking / drinking
Take on new challenges
Now compare this list to the first list. Wouldn’t it be nice to have these as your New Years resolutions? Yes? Good. Let me give you some tips to help you to just get these reoccurring resolutions handled once and for all.
How to Actually Complete Your Resolutions
1. Choose ONE resolution.
That’s right, just one. You may have half a dozen, but if they’re the same ones from last year, drop all but the most important one. Choose the one that will really make you feel ecstatic when it’s accomplished. If you complete it early, you can start on the next one. It’s hard enough to focus on one goal let alone half a dozen so try not to spread your energy too much. You’ll end up having to start over on all of them next year.
2. Write down reasons for past failure
Write down the reasons why you didn’t complete this resolution last year if it’s a reoccurring one. Then come up with what you’re going to do when the same reasons appear, and they will, so be prepared.
3. Come up with new excuses
Now write down every scenario you can think of that might come up and stop you on your tracks. Again, come up with how you’re going to overcome these possible obstacles. Ask someone to help you if you can’t come up with solutions to these possible problems.
In terms of the planning part, that depends on what your resolution is. There’s tons of information on the internet on how to do whatever it is you want to do whether it’s start a business, lose weight, eat healthier, or get a better job so I’m not going to get into that.
Got those solutions to those dreaded excuses and circumstances that will inevitably come up to stop you from completing your resolution? If you don’t, then just stop reading and continue doing what you’ve been doing and good luck to you. If you do, good. You’re one step closer to finally completing one of your resolutions.
5. Make your resolution urgent
One year for some goals may seem like a really long time and might cause you to put it off since you know you can always start next month just like what I used to do. Estimate how long it would probably take you if you started immediately and kept at it. If you come up with 3 months for example, make it a 3 month goal. You get the idea.
6. Make your resolution public
Here’s one final problem that I see many people have. No one but them knows about their resolutions. If you’re the only who knows about your resolutions, it’ll be easier for you to just put it off since there won’t be any outside pressure and if you quit, only you would know.
So one tip is to make your resolutions public. After all, these are New Years resolutions and wishes remember? Here are a couple of ideas.
Announce your resolutions on your social pages like Facebook or Twitter.
Gather a support group of friends and family who will keep you accountable.
Come up with consequences like giving your friends or family rewards if you quit.
Work on your resolution with friends who have the same resolution.
The main goal is to not have to make the same New Years resolutions the following year. Do this for 10 years and say good bye to the average top 10 New Years Resolutions.
Let’s make this year productive, fun, and memorable. Have an awesome New Year!