Come the New Year, we all reflect on our past and future, and come up with resolutions that we resolve to implement to better our lives. A few of these resolutions make the top list every year:
- Spending more time with family and friends
- Getting fit
- Losing weight
- Quitting vices – smoking, drinking, biting nails, etc.
- Enjoying life more
- Getting out of debt
- Helping others
An admirable list, and we have good intentions of carrying out our resolutions when we begin the New Year, but how many of us actually implement and carry through those resolutions.
Why is it that many of us can’t keep the promises that we make to ourselves?
I’m sure the reasons vary, but there are five root problems that doom us to failure, often before we even start.
1. Not being specific enough with your intentions – How can you do something you are not clear about? When something is vague, there is no intention behind it. If you say your resolution is to lose weight, then be specific. Say, I will lose twenty pounds in four months. Clarity fosters a state of intention.
2. Setting your goals too large – Setting unreachable goals is a sure failure. Frustration sets in, discouraging you from continuing. Set a resolution that is the right gradient for you, ensuring you reach that resolution.
3. Not setting your priorities straight – You must prioritize your tasks because if your resolutions are not high enough on your to-do-list, they will inevitably be omitted and then deleted. Survival tasks are foremost, but prioritize your resolutions as high as possible, to see they get accomplished.
4. Fluctuations in our resolve – There are times when we feel we can conquer the world, yet other times, we can barely lift ourselves from the bed. At the best of times, it is hard to motivate ourselves to carry out our resolutions, so when our will power is extra low, we often resign in our tasks. Remember to ask others for help. A friend, family member, or co-worker can help motivate you on those days when your willpower is low.
5. Amount of time won’t permit it – You can do anything you set your mind to do, but realistically, how much time and energy do you have to devote to your resolution? Time is a scarce commodity for many. Obligations to family, friends, a job, and even to yourself will interfere with the quantity and quality of time spent for your resolutions. Set realistic time expectations. If you only have an extra half hour every day available then don’t plan to use two hours for a resolution. Less time will make your progress slower but you will eventually arrive at your destination.
Paying attention to these five points will help you to formulate realistic resolutions and encourage your intentions of completing them.
There is nothing wrong with reaching for the stars but plan realistic steps of how to get up there.
I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year, and may you succeed in reaching your resolutions in 2012!