The end of the year is the ideal time to map out your course for the upcoming year and reflect on the previous journey of the last one. The tradition of New Year's resolution typically promises a fresh start every January 1st. This is a time to renew lost commitments and begin new ones, goals or even dreams. If you are one of the many people who make huge lists and find them hard to stick to, these five simple tips will help set your intentions straight and aid you in following them for the rest of the year.
- Chart the Course — Take a moment to reflect on the progress or small changes you have made in the past year. Write your New Year's resolutions on a sticky note on your desktop or mirror and look at them each day. Make a diary either in a notebook or in a document that you write in at the end of each day. Note negative and positive steps taken towards your goals while also noting negative and positive emotions you have had throughout the day. This allows you to reflect on your progress in an honest and real way every day.
- Set Small Attainable Goals — Many people set gigantic goals for themselves that are so far away from their typical "status quo" that it nearly forces them to fail. For example, if you don't exercise ever it's unfair and unrealistic to ask yourself to turn into a fitness buff overnight. Setting goals that are far from where your body honestly is in, in this exact moment engage an all-or-nothing thinking which is a recipe for disaster and failure. If you instead set modest, humble, and attainable goals that are not too far away from where you are today you are more likely to succeed.
- Limit Your New Year's Resolutions to 7, or even 5 — Don't make a long laundry list of things that you want to set out to do. If you have too many things on the list your intention will get diluted. Choosing only five or seven will force you to limit yourself to things that are at the top of your priority list.
- Focus on the Feeling, Not the Actions — Ask yourself this question: How would you feel if all your dreams came true? Focus on the feeling the answer to that question gives you for a moment and keep it in your mind. The reason that we have dreams is because we believe the attainment of them will bring us a sense of relief, peace, accomplishment, love, or any multitude of positive emotions. By focusing on the feeling of your dreams coming true you will attract situations and experiences that will lead you towards the goal you had previously set out to achieve. You will also begin to adapt yourself to the positive emotion of success which can shift your experience of the present moment almost immediately.
- Keep it Positive — Focus on what you will do, not what you will not do. What you direct your attention to determines what you will experience. Often phrasing your goals as a negative, leads to more of the activity that you seek to change. Instead, focus on the positive actions that will replace the negative ones once they are firmly established in your life.
Happy New Year and here's to you keeping those resolutions!