3 steps to effective New Year’s resolutions


There is a saying that, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ So one of the first things to do when you make your list of New Year’s resolutions is to make a battle plan. Here are tips for helping you achieve every goal this year.

Know what you want

What is your desired outcome for this year? And how would ‘success’ (i.e. achieving this outcome) look like? An outcome or goal is simply a dream with legs, since goals are what drive us forward. We must have something to aim for otherwise we would have to drag ourselves out of bed each morning.

Be a winner not a whiner

The opposite of ‘goal-setting’ is ‘problem-thinking’, which simply focuses on what is wrong. Such a mindset would make an individual a ‘whiner’ instead of a ‘winner’. Aim for results instead of excuses. Goal-setting shifts the focus from ‘What is wrong’ to ‘What could be right?’. If you could wake up tomorrow and everything was resolved, what would be happening? Ensure that your desired outcome is stated in the positive. It should explicitly and clearly state what it is that you want, rather than what you don’t want. Setting a ‘negative goal’ is like preparing a grocery list of things that you would not want to buy.

Set landmarks

Decide beforehand what evidence would be required to tell you, in no uncertain terms, that you have achieved your goal. For example, in ‘Lose weight’ you need to be able to set specific and concrete goals or you will just be frustrated when you don’t have the body of some 17 year old popstar. You could say ‘Lose an inch off my arms’ or ‘Drop a dress size.’

We must of course remain grounded on reality. So also consider the amount of control that you have over this Outcome. The greater the amount of control that you wield over your desired outcome, the better. Best-selling American Author and Screenwriter Nicolas Sparks declared: ‘It is the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee.’

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