So, it is now 4 weeks since the beginning of the year and now the Chinese New Year is upon us. I am curious as to how well you have managed to keep your New Year resolutions. I don’t know about you but, not only was I never any good at keeping them, I was not even good at making them in the first place – I would forget and then someone would ask me in say, February, how are you going with your New Year resolutions and I would go blank and then – “oh my God – I forgot to make any” LOL!! You can’t keep something you haven’t made!!
One year, I’m not sure exactly what year it was, I made the one and only New Year resolution I have ever kept!! What was the secret of my success? How, after so many years of failed resolutions did I make one, THE ONLY ONE that I have ever kept?
I am sure many of you know about SMART
Many people make resolutions that they do not think about in SMART terms. They get carried away with the holiday season, make all sorts of well intentioned, exciting promises for a better year; the ‘magic wand’ type of resolution – you know the one…..big, bold and right now !!!!
So, why are most of the resolutions that are made doomed to fail? Well, not specific enough, not able to be measured, not achievable, unrealistic and not time framed; most resolutions are pretty vague in one or more of the SMART areas.
“I am going to give up smoking”. Oh yeah – When and How?
“Well, next week” What day?
“um….Wednesday? No, hang on, I have got some new staff at work, a new project, work to catch up on after the holidays, new job, kids going back to school (pick one) ……and I will get too stressed out – maybe in a few weeks time when things settle down.”
Got it? How successful will that resolution be? Where is the commitment?
Try this on for size – “I am going to see my Doctor on Wednesday 2 February and find out what is available to help me give up smoking. I will commit myself to giving up smoking completely by 4 April 2011. On that day I will celebrate by ……” (No, not by having a cigar! – pick something else!).
Another reason is committment. I’ve often wondered about the point of making resolutions at New Year. While I do understand the concept, I have often thought that resolutions can be made at any time. If the beginning of the year is fraught with stress, of course many resolutions will not be successful. Another time in the year could be more appropriate, a time when the resolution has more chance of being successful. If we keep making resolutions that are doomed to failure, we set ourselves up to fail next time, and the next, and the next……………. When we don’t keep our resolutions, we can often tell ourselves that we will try again next New Year. Even during the year when we think of something we want to change, it is so easy to decide to leave it until the next New Year and make it a resolution: you’ll probably forget that you had even thought of it.
If something comes up for you during the year, what purpose is there to wait for January 1 again? If August, or May, or even 23 January is a better time for you to make a change around something, then DO IT? What is the point of wasting your life by leaving something until New Year and not being successful with it?
Turning 2011 into a more successful year than 2010 needs self-belief and a mind shift: the focus is on what you want to achieve and it can start anytime during the year. Don’t give up now just because other things have got in the way and look at what you want and check to see if YOU really want that change.
Oh yes, I remembered. What was the ONE, the ONLY New Year resolution I ever made that I actually kept???
TO NEVER MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION AGAIN!!!
“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s”. ~HenryMoore