I recently paid a visit to a few book stores and in all of them I was greeted by 2017 calendars, journals and note books. Most of these book stores are ready to herald in the new year. It dawned on me that many of us make resolutions year in and year out without traction or significant changes in our lives. In most cases, before the end of January most people would have forgotten about their resolutions and they revert to their old selves. As a result, aspersions are generally cast on resolutions, thereby rendering them as futile and a waste of time.
According to the Webster’s universal dictionary and Thesaurus, the word resolution implies “the act of resolving; determination; a fixed intention or the formal decision”. Taking a resolution is about making up your mind, taking conclusions and having courage to take a decision. Therefore, resolutions matter. Approaching life without steadfastness of purpose is a recipe for disaster. If you are a dreamer and a go-getter; you need to challenge yesterday’s standard and push boundaries from time to time.
How can you make your resolutions matter?
1. Timing is everything
Like the book stores are already looking forward to 2017, you also cannot leave this important task too late. The month of December (at least in South Africa) is a period of festivities and people are looking forward to go on vacations, to visit or to receive their loved ones in their homes. We hardly have time to ourselves at this time. Now is the convenient moment to look at the year that was and look forward to the year that will be. You have enough evidence to date of what has worked and what has not worked and based on that you can start to plan for the year ahead. Setting aside time now will facilitate seamless transition from 2016 into 2017. Do not plan for 2017 when it is already on your door step, do it now and enjoy the festivities knowing that your ducks are in a row and fully confident that 2017 is for the taking.
2. Know what you want to achieve
If you don’t know what your goal is, anything will become your goal. Resolutions do not last because most of us follow the trend or the flavour of the day. For instance, many people easily sign up for gym membership that they do not need and end up throwing money into the waste bin. They throw away potential investments where their monies could be growing exponentially instead of being donated to the big corporates. This occurs because people do not apply their minds to why they want something. Check your previous year’s resolutions and look for the items that have been repeated for the past three years but have not been acted upon. Ask yourself if this is truly what you want to achieve. I guess the answer is quite obvious that this is just clogging your list. Revisit your list, keep it simple and short.
I fully agree with Anthony Robbins when he says that “for changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent”. Once you start to put shoulder to the wheel, energy will follow intention and you will achieve what you are after. Part of being consistent is to break the year into its granularity. We need to realise that each day lived well will bring a good week. A well lived will give you a successful month. A month will produce a great quarter and thus a phenomenal year. A year well lived will give you a life time of success. Set a date with yourself at least every month to check your progress. What a gift to give to yourself.
4. Persevere and celebrate successes
Consistency does not mean absence of challenges. Even the best of athletes who have trained year in and year out find themselves demotivated to go to the track from time to time however they remind themselves of the bigger why. This bigger why reconnects you to “why you want something”. Think of the bigger outcome rather than the process and motivate yourself to stick to your resolutions. You can do this by celebrating the smaller successes that you will be achieving along the way. Never be too harsh on yourself, acknowledge every little step that you take.
Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper