Every year, the world sets out anew on January 1st with resolutions for the year ahead. There is a frenzy of positive goals and perhaps even purchases to help us on our way. By February, all mention of our resolutions disappear and the humdrum of daily life drowns out the motivation we once had.
I had a tradition of writing very long lists of things I wanted to change in my life for my New Year’s resolution. I would duplicate it (so I could keep it handy) and mail the original copy to myself (like a special wish sent out into the universe). I kept it closed until December 31st to see if I accomplished any of the things I wanted. Here are some of my tips for keeping New Year resolutions going all year.
I discovered that, I did actually accomplish about one third of my list in one way or another. Those things were part of something I call the goal method. My special tip for setting goals for the year is to set ultimate goals and narrow them down to small steps that lead up to them. Try to map out how long it will take and give yourself some room for things in your life that may pop up. So you may actually have a five year plan on your hands. Your goals may not all fit in the span of one year.
From my resolution, there would always be about two thirds of the list that didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of coming happening because they were more like wishes instead of goals. The wish list method is good. Wishes are the heartbeats that keep our hopes alive. My tip for adding wishes to your resolution list is to wish for things that are totally possible, like being a better person. Being a better person is totally possible because, you can always improve yourself by taking a class, reading, or applying time and practice at something. However, wishing to hit the lottery is actually something that could happen, but it depends on the outside world, chance, and things you can’t influence.
Most resolution lists are forgotten because they aren't placed in good places for reminding. Keep you list where you can see them. Some good spots would be, the refrigerator door, bulletin board, in your phone, calendar, your front door or on your bathroom mirror. Whatever works, that you never forget them.
I actually review them every morning and rewrite them at night. This helps me to know that I am on the right track. I also find that some goals may have to shift as well to adapt to change so rewriting them helps to focus your problem solving skills to it's maximum capacity.
Ultimately the problem with New Year’s resolutions is that it fosters the idea that accomplishments in your life will happen in a year, when in actuality it could happen during a lifetime. And hopes of achievement don’t just begin on January first but every day of your life. One shouldn't wait until the end of the year to build a new tomorrow. It should be in our hearts every day.
This leads up to my best tip of all which is not to name your list “New Year’s Resolution” but simply “Goals” or even “Stuff I Want”. Another Jedi mind trick to this method is that when February swings around and you see that you haven’t anything accomplished your New Year’s list, you won’t be discouraged because it’s not dated. These are your goals to accomplish at any point.
My last tip is to reinforce your goals with motivating inspiration, like pictures, books, movies, and role models. Sprinkle little motivating reminders around your home or even set up alarm reminders on your phone.
Get creative. And good luck!