Many of us, with the excuse of having survived a alleged end of the world, we have decided to celebrate it by eating and drinking a lot during Christmas. Now is time to pay for it! And one of those most common New Year’s resolutions is related to our physical shape, but there are many other goals that we intend to fulfill before the end of 2013… In this article I won’t list mine or the most common resolutions, I’ll just give you some tips when making an appropriate list of New Year’s resolutions; being too ambitious could be catastrophically frustrating.
My first recommendation is that the goals have to be specific things that you can achieve in a short term. That means to abandon ideas like “to get in good shape”, “to get a better job”, “to find a partner”, etc., those are things that once you have written on your list they will rot in oblivion. Replace these statements by “on January the 7th (for example) I will sign up to the gym next to my house and I’ll go there on Tuesdays and Thursdays because there is a fitness class that I like”, “sign up for this course with these specific dates which will allow me to apply for a better job”,”maintaining a positive and active attitude towards any prospect of meeting new people (in general)”, etc. Goals have to be easy to handle: we have to develop an action plan and visualize us doing those things in a near future.
The second tip for your New Year’s resolutions is to be realistic; achievable goals keeping in mind your context and circumstances, and how long will take to accomplish that achivement. That doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious and aim high, of course not! It means that you have to consider your abilities, skills, availability and motivations. If you are not realistic, maybe many of your resolutions for 2013 remain unfulfilled. Lifestyle changes can be achieved in a short time, but attitude or personality changes usually take longer. Don’t give up! Another crucial thing when making your list of resolutions is to stay positive, optimistic and tenacious.
One of the most important thing to consider when you start the year is that you have to do a list based on what you feel, not on what you must to do. Although it is difficult to distinguish which behaviors are the result of external social pressures and which are a result of our wills and real desires, focus on what makes you happy, not on what makes others happy. Leave aside your relatives opinions such as parents, friends, or partners that may negatively influence your decision making and discover what really fills you. You can dismiss what you do every day that you don’t like and keep what you love to do and motivates you in your routine. Once you know what you like you can work on it, improve it and promote it, and remove what you like least.
Finally, if it’s useful for you, you can follow someone’s lead as a role model and imitate his/her good decisions or his/her effort capacity towards a specific goal.