Chances are that at some point in your life you’ve made a New Year’s resolution(s).
Towards the end of 2014 probably not just me but millions of other people in diaspora were excited counting down to the New Year with a lot of hopes, dreams and expectations…Saying that there was an outbreak of the term “New year resolutions” would be an understatement.
Of course different people understand the term differently. Come to think of it more seriously, I think in general the term resolution is supposed to refer to “a firm decision to do or not to do something” of course based on different intentions and expectations.
I personally believe it is definitely a good idea to plan ahead in order to save time and focus that in the end will lead to the realising/achieving of goals set.
Resolutions are not cast on stone meaning they can be adjusted along the way with an aim of getting the best of it. But by setting more realistic goals and not limiting yourself to a once-a-year, do-or-die. In order to realise a goal at the end of the year or after a period of time, one is expected to be disciplined and focused.
There are a few tips/guidelines one could follow:
1. Be realistic: The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For example, expecting to have a minimum bank account balance of one million US dollars, when you literally earn about $300 a month.
2. Plan ahead: Don’t make your resolution late. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mind-set that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before time.
3.Outline your plan: Decide how you will deal with the temptation that will bring about thoughts of “what ifs” or “will I really make it” because definitely along the way one will face challenges but its upon how best you deal with them that will determine the chances of you achieving or not.
4. Make a “pros” and “cons” list: It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time and keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5. Talk about it: Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support you. But keep in mind that you only tell those that share a similar dream or those that believe in you and are ready to support you.
7. Track your progress: Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated.
8. Don’t beat yourself up: Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day and take one day at a time.
9. Stick to it: Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient. Lastly but equally important,
10. Keep trying: If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.
The writer is a social scientist