Wednesday, December 30, 2009
How-To write AND keep your New Year's resolutions!
It's that time of year again and I love it because it means there's a whole year of new-ness ahead. Actually, I don't even know if that make sense ;). Anyway, I have a pretty good ritual of writing my new year's resolutions for the next year around this time. Nothing unique about that right? WRONG!!!
I'm one of the few people I know that KEEP my resolutions, yes...I actually check in with them throughout the year. I keep a copy of them in my planner or phone or wherever and I check in mid-year to see where I stand. Yes, that may be obnoxious to you...but when it comes the end of the year to write new ones; I'm excited about it because its more like a prediction of what i'm going to accomplish over the next year.
There are definitely some key tricks to writing good resolutions, so I thought I would share with you all; so that you can make 2010 your BEST year yet. Especially after the depressing 2009 we just went through.
1. Figure out what you want to accomplish! - Ok, this may be self-explanatory but it has to be said. Take some time for yourself one day, sit down and really think about where you would like to be by the end of 2010. Don't think about where you are today - that will just throw wrenches in your plan.
2. Be realistic - It may sound good to say you're gonna lose 50 pounds next year, but are you really going to do that? Make sure that your resolutions are something that you can stick with and really give effort to. If you think 20 is the realistic number then put down 20, you know your limits. If your goal is too ridiculous in any area, you'll be more likely to forget it or give up.
3. Give yourself measurable goals - Be sure that you are setting some expectation for yourself. Saying to yourself "I'm going to save money next year" doesn't really say much at all. Remember, these are for yourself for the most part. Put a number goal on things like; I'm going to save $1200 in 2010 or I'm going to lose 10 pounds by march. Putting dates and number give your nearer and farther goals and gives you some motivation to work towards things. You don't have to make it ridiculous, its not a competition. Resolutions are just things you feel will make you or your life better. (I promised myself I would play in 10 tennis tournaments next year!)
4. Tell people about it. - Does a tree make a sound when it falls in the woods if no one hears it? Tell someone about your goals/plans, this is probably someone close to you or maybe even a friend that you're writing resolutions with. That way, someone is a witness and possibly may ask you how your getting along at certain points. If you have someone to share it with, it's easier to keep your resolutions throughout the year.
5. Keep them close - Have your resolutions handy. I generally have mine on a half sheet of paper in my planner. Sometimes when i'm flipping through to check something else I run across and re-read them. This is a great reminder of what you have to accomplish and keeps them in your head. It's not surprising that you won't have them memorized. Another good place is your wallet.
6. Check-in mid year! - Right before summer hits, check in with yourself. If you check-in mid year and you kind of put some of the items by the way side, you still have about 6 months to accomplish some of your goals. Most of our goals won't take a whole year to get to, but we give ourselves that much because we've gotta live life. This is a great time to check things off your list (my favorite) so you can see what you have left and how much progress you have made!
7. Celebrate yourself - There's never a bad time to celebrate. I generally see new year's as a time of celebrating the past year and really seeing all that I have accomplished. But along the way, have small celebrations when you accomplish your goals.
8. Keep it short! - Last but not least. Having 100 resolutions for the year is a little out of range. Create as many as you think is important to really get to that year. I generally have about 10 main goals for the year, other stuff comes up; both those 10 I make sure to keep top of mind.
Well, I hope that you get a chance to plan for 2010 and I wish every one a very happy New Year! Good luck and god speed....2010 Here I come!