Good Luck With Those Resolutions!
January 4, 2015 - Posted by: admin - In category:
Why do we make resolutions? How can we be more successful in keeping them?
Its that time of year–the New Year–time to sit down with a notebook or electronic device and set some ambitious goals for the coming year. Some of us have experienced great success in the past with setting and achieving goals in this manner. For example, I once ran a marathon because of such a New Year’s resolution (ok, I walked briskly for 26 miles)…:) Often we fall short of our lofty aims and our good intentions can, if we are not careful and diligent, go the way of the wind before the end of January.
For what its worth, New Years resolutions have ancient origins, as the Babylonians made promises to their many gods at the start of each year that they would repay debts, return borrowed items and otherwise strive to live better. The Romans began each year with similar vows to their god Janus (i.e. the deity after which the month of January is named). During Medieval times, knights undertook the “peacock vow” after the Christmas season to renew their commitment to chivalry. So now that we know a little history, how do we go about finding success in our goal setting?
That is the key question, isn’t it? If you and I could come up with a sure-fire answer to that question, we could make a lot of money! Motivational speakers and authors do make small fortunes each year by promising to enable each of us to set and achieve goals which will transform our lives, our health and our finances into things of our dreams. While I am anything but a famous or profound “life-coach”, there are a few things I have heard and learned from others which are relevant to each of us during this time of year.
First, start with the important stuff. In other words, turn your attention towards things which are near and dear to your heart and which will have the most meaningful effect in your life and in the lives of those you love. This might be your health, your finances or similar items. Next, set goals which are realistic and achievable, while at the same time being lofty and ambitious. For example, if I’m totally out of shape and 200 pounds overweight, it likely is not realistic or smart of me to set a goal of winning the Ironman Triathalon in 3 months. (On the other hand, setting a goal to make it to work all 5 days next week isn’t really much of a goal.) Much of the time, the reason why we fail to reach our goals is that we set an unachievable goal and quickly become discouraged when we realize that our efforts are very unlikely to get us what we are seeking. Finally, take little steps each day and use a system of tracking and personal accountability. This will permit you to measure you progress over time (which, by itself can be a much needed source of encouragement) and will also provide needed motivation for you to continue.
We all have stuff on our “to do” list which has been there for a long time. At the dawn of another year, pick one or two of the most important items on that list and set about to finally achieve such things.
Best of luck.
Happy New Year!