MAKING YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS STICK - We are nearing the end of the year 2012 and once again, it will be time to ring in the New Year with resolutions filled with hope and optimism. Why do we do it; why do we make resolutions? It is a centuries old tradition that comes from the notion that teaches a New Year=New Beginnings. They start off innocently enough. We want a change, so we say out loud that this will be the year. Then a few days to a few weeks later we are overwhelmed by life and the intentions are laid aside. We feel defeated or justify that it was too hard. It’s time to break that cycle and say, right now in agreement that: “This year will be different. I will make and keep my New Year’s resolution!” But how? …
Make it personal
Well, first you will notice that I used the word “resolution.” Single. Solitary. ONE. Yes, try making one, not half a dozen. Second, you also agreed that you would “own” the resolution. We said: “my.” Why is this important? Simply because you get to be a little self-centered when it comes to resolutions. They are yours, no one else’s’. When we own something, we generally will look after it.
Keep it simple
Now is not the time to decide you are going to get married by the end of the year when you are not even dating, or quit your job to travel the world. Think of something that will be meaningful, yet attainable. Maybe you need your GED or you always wanted to learn how to scuba dive. What is a passion of your heart?
Let’s use acquiring a GED as our example. Think through why you want/ need your GED. Would it make you feel better about yourself? Are you looking into the job market or thinking of taking some vocational or college classes that require it? What will be your non-changing motivation?
Is this something you can do? Yes, everyone can receive their GED, but not everyone can learn to fly an airplane. Know your limitations and don’t pin your goals on a maybe.
Have a plan
This is where most people fall short and why resolutions fail. Think of your resolution as a 1-year plan for accomplishing a personal goal. Break that year down into manageable tasks. With the GED, call around or find out on-line where classes are held, when and any cost involved. What paperwork will you need to bring with you to register and what is the flexibility of the classes vs. your schedule? A few sacrifices may need to be made. How important is this to you?
Yes, set goals within your goal. Let’s say GED classes do not begin until February. Find your information that will be required to register and have it handy, be sure that you know the location of the classes and that you have made arrangements within your schedule to accommodate the classes and some study time. If you need to secure babysitting or travel arrangements be sure to also have a back-up plan. You could go to your public library and take out some books on GED testing or brush up on subjects that you know you are weak.
In February, be prepared for every class. Be on-time and do your best. There may be minor setbacks to your plan, there usually is. That is just how life works, but don’t let them de-rail you completely.
Keep the goal
“Get my GED” in the forefront of your mind.
Life happens and often changes our plans. If you find that you are not moving ahead toward your goal, maybe it is time to sit down and re-evaluate your plan. Maybe your work schedule has changed and you cannot make your classes as often. This can throw you into a tailspin and want to give up, but wait. Talk to your boss, perhaps he can allow you to come in later or get off earlier an extra day or two. If not, make the most of your time when in class. See about work that can be done at home. If there is truly no way to change your circumstances and it is just going slower, keep going. Do not give up on you!
If the circumstances are drastic enough that you need to put your goal on hold, quickly look ahead to when things may be different and begin a new action plan. Keep your focus and realize that there are very few setbacks that are permanent, and with some perseverance you can finish what you have started.
It is only December now. You have a month to carefully consider any changes in your life you would like to make and set in motion a plan to achieve them. No matter what your resolution may be this year; Believe in yourself!
Happy New Year and remember: The best is yet to come.