10 pertinent things to consider while setting New Year resolutions

by Adedayo Ademuwagun

2015

A lot of people quit setting resolutions because they feel the stuff just doesn’t work or they just can’t make it work.

But then, resolutions aren’t impossible to achieve.

At the dawn of every new year, several people set resolutions to become better people and also make important changes in their life, and many times, they actually get results.

So we can do this too. We can take this period as a fresh opportunity to prepare to change things and become better in areas that are important to us. Here are 10 things to consider if you’re setting resolutions for 2015.

1. You don’t have a plan.

Very often, people set goals and resolutions without a clear plan about how they’ll achieve them. They want to improve their CGPA next year, grow their business, or make some more money. But they don’t figure out how they’ll do it. So they start, run into problems and quit altogether. Setting resolutions without planning how to make them happen is one of the main reasons most resolutions don’t work out.

2. You quit. You give up too soon.

It’s not always easy to fulfill a resolution, but people could be more successful at what they do if they hang on a bit longer and try a little more. But they give up too soon after experiencing some setback or discouragement. Sometimes our resolutions need that extra effort from us before they materialise.

3. You beat yourself up. You don’t motivate yourself.

People often put themselves down when they slip up or fall short of their goal. They let the small failures they make along the line derail them, and they keep telling themselves about what they’re doing wrong. They don’t even encourage themselves when they achieve something positive. Our resolutions are probably not going to work out if we don’t motivate ourselves and stay positive about them.

4. You don’t follow up. You don’t keep track.

It’s not enough to set resolutions and then start doing something. We need to check up on ourselves periodically afterwards to see how we’re getting along and see if there’s anything else we need to do. It helps to follow up and keep track of our resolutions from time to time so we can stay on course.

5. You over-specify your goals.

A lot of people teach that we need to be specific with our goals or else it won’t work. Some say the more specific our goals are, the more likely they’ll succeed. But this is practically false in most cases.

When we set goals that are too specific, we’re setting ourselves up for for a situation where we’ll be led to think we’ve failed just because we couldn’t accomplish our goal to that specific detail. For instance, if we say we’re going to exercise four times every week, circumstances may come up later preventing us from going exactly four times. So technically, that resolution has flopped. But if we say we’re going to exercise more regularly this year, it’s more practical, more flexible, and more achievable. Resolutions should be flexible, not rigid.

6. You don’t feel strongly about your resolutions.

Sometimes people set goals on impulse based on how they’re feeling at the moment or based on some wish. They don’t really feel strongly about those goals. Kemi says for instance, “I wanted to learn to play the guitar or the piano in 2014 because I like music and I figured it would be nice to know how to play a music instrument. But I have a 9-5 job and simply don’t have the time to enrol at a music class or something. My weekends are also tied up. So I couldn’t really meet up.”

We’re more likely to fulfill our resolutions when we feel strongly about them.

7. You don’t put in the work.

Some people just make resolutions and soon forget about them. It’s like they expect the resolutions to somehow make themselves happen. But it doesn’t work like that. Resolutions don’t make themselves happen. We need to put in the work and apply ourselves. We shouldn’t just say, “This 2015 I’m going to improve my English” or “I’m going to be a better husband as of this year”. We need to figure out what we need to do and then we need to work toward it consistently.

8. You don’t have support.

There are times when we need people to give us a little pat on the back and give us a little push. So it really helps to have supportive people around who could motivate us and give us a hand regarding our resolutions, not people who’ll tell us negative things.

9. You don’t cut yourself a little slack.

It’s better to make small progress steadily than to try to achieve so much in a short time. That’s like trying to sprint through a marathon. Whether we want to lose fat or we want to complete a business project, we can cut ourselves some slack and still get great results. But if we take on too many things or try to accomplish too much rapidly, we may end up being less effective.

10. You don’t believe in yourself.

Many people set resolutions this year and the year before — and it didn’t work out. So they’ve given up on the process and have resolved that they’re not capable of fulfilling their own resolutions. But this is quite defeatist. A new year is always an opportunity for us to try again more smartly and with a lot more belief in ourselves.

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