New Year’s is a time for new beginnings. It’s a fresh slate to start a new journey and a chance to close the door on another year that went by too fast. In all of this excitement and joy, we make New Year’s resolutions. Often times these resolutions are recycled from previous years, mainly because we’ve failed to achieve them. After a series of unsuccessful attempts at New Year’s resolutions (I usually give up by mid February), I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t follow through with my resolutions unless I thought about them differently. There’s a good chance you’ve probably had a similar experience.
I’ve come up with a couple of ways to think about New Year’s resolutions differently to help put you in the right mindset for optimal achievement. Hopefully they help you think of resolutions in a new light so you can see them through.
1. Realize that New Year’s is a day like any other, and making resolutions on this day is no different from making a resolution on any other day. We put too much pressure on the idea of a new beginning that we set ourselves up for failure. If you think of your resolutions this way, you won’t achieve them. Look at resolutions as things you would like to work on over time. The deadline of achievement doesn’t have to be the end of the year.
2. Make realistic resolutions that serve two purposes. Instead of picking the same resolutions every year, like losing 30 pounds or moving to Paris, choose areas of your life that you know you can work on. Picking resolutions that can help you in multiple areas of your life can also help you see them through.
For instance, perhaps you want to get more involved in your community. This is something that would not only benefit you personally, but also professionally. The more involved you are, the more you know what’s going on in your community. This is necessary in PR. Knowing that you will be fulfilling a personal goal while benefiting your company is like killing two birds with one stone!
3. Reduce the amount of resolutions you make. Hone in that list of 10 resolutions. Instead focus on two or three. Don’t have the expectation of tackling them all at once. Think of resolutions like the to-do lists you make for work. Write down your top three resolutions and put daily reminders of how you can achieve them. Focus on one resolution at a time as it fits into your day.
4. Use positive language when thinking about your resolutions. Instead of thinking, “Taking the time to organize files and papers is so time consuming. I have better things to do with my day,” think “I always feel so much better after I know I’ve saved or put something in the right place. It helps keep my stress levels down.” Thinking of it in relation to how it benefits you is way more motivating than focusing on the negative.
5. Review your progress and celebrate your successes. Keep track of your changes and look back after a couple of months to see if you’re moving forward with your goals. If something isn’t working right, figure out what you’re doing wrong and how you can fix it. Ask for help and support from others if you need it. If you’ve been doing really well, reward yourself! And remember to keep going. If you have tackled the two or three resolutions you wrote down, pull out that list of the other seven or eight resolutions you had and start to work on those.
Remember, resolutions are just excuses to better yourself. If you have the right mindset, you can achieve them! These tips can be applied to any other goals you have too.
Happy holidays and happy New Year!