Year 2018 is around the corner…so are flyers, promotions, offers, articles and jokes for the new year resolutions.
My friend forwarded this message on our group “My Goal for 2018 is… to accomplish the goals of 2017 which I should’ve done in 2016 because I promised them in 2015 and planned in 2014.” 🙂
Most of us in the group replied “me too” and that got me thinking…
Do we really need new year resolution/s?
You might say Yes/No/Maybe/NotSoImportant; and you all are right!
One might argue that if you are committed enough, every moment or “Now” is the right time to begin and that’s true.
But… yeah you saw it coming… my point is, whatever said and done… there is definitely a sort of collective energy and hope in the environment… every morning… every Monday… every 1st of the month… and same holds true for the new Year! These are more like natural cues provided to us to start fresh with a renewed sense of energy. Don’t you agree?
So, my answer is Yes, go for new year resolutions. From the energy point of view, it’s like putting the sails up when wind is flowing in the desired direction.
Now the next important question is – How do we come up with new year resolution/s?
Most of us want to change or do so many things in our life. If we could, some of us might even want to change everything in life. But I think there is always that one thing… a habit, a hobby, a lifestyle change or something, that keeps coming back in our thoughts or in our discussions. Go for that one thing (yes, one thing at a time) and see if it fits the definition of a SMART goal.
S – specific and pushes you out of your comfort zone
M – meaningful enough to keep you motivated
A – achievable and acceptable to your loved ones
R – realistic and rewarding
T – time-bound and trackable
You might come up with a list of such resolutions/goals. Scrub through the list multiple times and pick out the one you think is of the highest priority at the moment.
Next obvious question is, how to keep up with a new year resolution and succeed?
Simple answer is, a good plan and a committed execution. Duh!
But even before we start planning, I think it is really crucial to build a strong emotional connect with it. This, in my experience, is the most important step and will be the deciding factor in success or failure of every next step in the process. Some ways to build this emotional connect with your resolution are:
- Spend time with your resolution, as if you are time travelling in future and living it.
- Think about every single detail, imagining as if you have already achieved it.
- How will it be for you and others?
- How does it feel? Put words to these thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- How are you celebrating your success with your loved ones? Very important and highly effective.
- Visualise it with maximal clarity and feel it with every single cell of your body.
- Once you are excited and pumped up enough, make sure to document it. This document will act as a template to your planning and keep you motivated while executing the plan.
- Write it like a story or paint it like a picture… or associate with a corresponding favourite image or song of yours… you can even record your story as an audio and listen to it later for topping up on motivation… think of ways that are convenient and come naturally to you.
Proper visualization by the exercise of concentration and willpower enables us to materialize thoughts, not only as dreams or visions in the mental realm, but also as experiences in the material realm. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
Once you have established a strong emotional bond with your resolution, next step is the planning. My two cents on planning are:
- Research and identify what all and who all (hint hint!) you will need to support
- Create realistic and practical time-line for the resolution
- Include one change or action at a time and build on it
- Include ways to monitor and track progress
- Have specific mini-milestones to reward the progress but word of caution; don’t go overboard with the reward (like cheat days in dieting!)
Lastly, stick to the plan and execute it. Some practical tips for the same are:
- Keep calm and carry on. Remember the end goal and celebrations!
- Broadcast only if it’s part of the plan, surprise element can actually make it all very exciting.
- If feeling low, trick your mind into taking a baby step towards the planned action. It works. OR keep these options handy to recharge (link).
- Missed a milestone? It’s okay. Hinderances, obstacles and slight de-tours are part of every journey. Be gentle, accept it and move on, perseverance is the key.
- Keep going back to your emotional connect write-up/image/song/recording for topping up motivation.
So, wait not… go ahead… visualize, strategize and realize those long overdue dreams.
Wish you all happy holidays and a blissful year ahead!