I sat down at the tail end of December to have a look at areas of my life that could be improved by making some clear cut and effective resolutions.
Then I thought to myself, why?
The presumption is, that there are things wrong with the various elements of our lives that need to be fixed in order to satisfy either ourselves, or the perception of others, about who we are, what we look like, and how we behave.
Here is a list of the some of the usual resolutions that most of us make at New Year…. with a appalling failure rate (around 80%) about 4 to 6 weeks into this annual exercise.
These are not my resolutions (I erased all of mine) but I have taken the liberty of adding some of the reasons why these resolutions might not always be adhered to beyond a token effort.
- Lose Weight (anything from 10lbs to 100lbs – usually without a plan)
- Do more exercise (flabby to ripped in 3 weeks)
- Join the gym so someone will make you do the exercise . (Pay annually to save money and stop going after four gruelling sessions)
- Drink less alcohol (only works if you do not have any parties, weddings, break-ups or crisis in the next 12 months)
- Quit smoking (see above) (but if it is money you are looking to save!!! definitely one to achieve)
- Save £100 a month (damn the electricity bill has gone up again! And £100 a month gone on gym membership!)
- Get a new job ( It is tough to move jobs in reality and the average change over time is 3 to 6 months ) Is there really anything wrong with the present job that might be improved with a few small changes.
- Get more organised (This might mean that you won’t be able to find anything essential for the next three months but it will look better!)
- Spend more time with the extended family. (Great if you get on, but if Christmas dinner was anything to go by, you might want to think about that next year) But if it is to spend more time with your loved ones in your immediate family, well worth making that one work.
- Manage stress better. ( see 4,5 and 7 – hell see 1 – 10)
Do yourself a favour (and possibly those around you) and if you are going to make New Year’s Resolutions….. pick just one that is in your opinion, (and possibly your doctor’s), is the most important to your health and well-being, not just for the next twelve months but for a lifetime.
Having decided which resolution you are going to stick to and achieve, make a project plan.
- How am going to get this done? (Key question, that should be done sober and not on New Year’s Eve when you might be under the impression you can do anything!)
- How long should it take? (Unless you are Superman or Batman, think longer term rather than in a flash!)
- What are the steps and timescales I need to put in place to achieve this? (see above)
- What do I need to help me achieve this? (Willpower is a good start – see my post on Sunday)
- Who do I need to help me achieve this? (This might require a bit of expenditure but make sure they come recommended – there are also lots of free courses available)
- How often should I measure my progress? (Rome was not built in a day – weekly is fine but every day can be frustrating)
- What rewards can I give myself (non food is a good idea) when I achieve my interim goals?
- Keep a journal to record your progress, share it if you feel happy to do so on a blog or with friends. (Remember that all claims that you make will be verified next time you see the person in question!)
- Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, and a great idea, if it is health and fitness related, to take a before photograph and one at various points in your progress, until you reach that vision you have of yourself. (Having a selfie stick helps with this)
- Set realistic expectations, that don’t set yourself up for failure, and remember for example that 1lb per week is still 52lbs per year.
- That £10 a week saved is £520 a year. (Added to the gym membership saved = £1520 per year!)
- That making small changes to the way that you do your job, could lead to a promotion not a complete change of direction. (This should not involve harming your boss)
- That setting aside 30 minutes a week to phone family and friends or to send an email makes a huge difference to them and to you. (Keep it civil)
- That date night (with your own partner!) once every couple of weeks can sustain a relationship for life.
- That taking your children away from the computer video games and taking them to the seaside or countryside every few weeks will do you all good. (Please try to bring them back with you!)
- And don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way. (Not with alcohol, chocolate or a quick ciggie – as you will be back where you started again this time next year!
One resolution achieved over the next twelve months is worth 10 that fall by the wayside.
I have made one resolution this year – I am going to keep doing what I am already doing, the best way I know how. Not because I am perfect as I am – but because my life is good and I just want more of the same.