It’s that time of year again. That’s right, 2015 is just around the corner and the words on everyone’s lips are “what are your New Year’s resolutions?” The thing is, how often do you actually keep your resolutions? I know we mean well when we make them, but life just gets in the way, doesn’t it? By June, you’re thinking about end of year exams, and all thoughts of reading a book a week go out the window. By September, you’re starting a new year of school, possibly a whole new school altogether, and you’re learning so much that you probably can’t even remember what resolutions you made in the first place. Am I right?
However, New Year’s resolutions are important. They’re the perfect opportunity to set yourself goals for the coming year which will bring focus and drive into your life, and ultimately make you more successful and hopefully happier than you were the year before. “But Cat, if they’re so vital, why does no one ever complete them?” I hear you ask? To that I reply, because they did not have this guide (input ingenuous laugh). I’m about to give you my top tips for choosing and keeping your New Year’s resolutions, so fasten your seat belts, this is going to be an enlightening ride….
When it comes to picking your resolution, make it small. It’s all good and well deciding that, having never even jogged before, you’re going to run a marathon, but it just isn’t plausible. Decide an area in your life that you want to focus on, and set a realistic goal that you can achieve by the end of the year. For example, I know that I am truly awful at press ups, but I also know that getting good at them will help my punching in karate, so I could make a resolution to be able to do 50 press ups continuously by the end of the year. Although this sounds like a big number to aim for I know, because I have read this article, that the best way to complete resolutions is to have a plan for executing the goal. Therefore, as there are 52 weeks in the year, I could resolve do one press up every day for the first week of the year, and add another press up in every week of the year. This way I should reach 52 consecutive press ups by the end of the year. Working out how you are going to achieve your resolution is just as important as making a resolution in the first place as it is your plan of action that will hold you accountable for your progress.
Further from this, you need to be specific. Too often I hear people telling me that their resolution is to “be more confident” or “be more positive” or a whole host of other broad suggestions. By doing this, you’re leaving your success up to chance. Instead of deciding to “be more confident”, work out what it is you’re going to do to be confident, and make doing that thing your resolution. For example, recognise where your confidence is lacking and do more of that. If you lack confidence when introducing yourself to new people, make it your resolution to be the first person to do introductions, etcetera. When you are specific in your goals you take control of what it is you want to do. Even saying them out loud becomes an instruction to yourself which you can choose to follow.
Lastly, and I would argue most importantly, write them down. Now you’ve got yourself some killer resolutions, a step-by step understanding of how you’re going to achieve them, and a lot of January motivation, you’ve got to prepare for the distractions in life. Write down your resolutions and put them somewhere you will see them. Make a huge poster or a check board to stick on your wall. You’ll see this, and possibly fill it out, every day which will keep you motivated all year long. You might want to write a diary which documents your progress too. You should also talk to people about your progress. This holds you accountable for your goals as you’ll have friends and family asking you “how are you getting on with your press ups?” out of the blue to remind you of your plan.
So there we have it, my complete guide to making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. I know it’s helped me over the years… I even gave up chocolate for a year with the help of these tips! Feel free to let us know what your New Year’s resolutions are here at King’s and remember, these tips will help with all your goals, no matter what time of year you start them. Happy New Year!