Make Resolutions that aren’t Overwhelming

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It’s December 31st.

Many of you are getting ready to party with friends and family as we welcome in 2014.

Some of you are probably looking forward to a decent bedtime with kids so you can get some extra sleep in as well.

A fair portion of you I would guess are also thinking about making some New Years Resolutions. But perhaps some of you are overwhelmed at the thought of resolutions. You think you won’t keep them past the first few days, so why bother?

I’ve gone back and forth myself on the purpose of making Resolutions at the beginning of a New Year. There was a time I told myself the New Year wasn’t really anything special. It’s just a new day with a different year attached. I knew I probably wouldn’t keep my resolutions, so it was pointless.

That’s a pretty negative point of view to have don’t you think?  Admittedly, we can always be making some resolutions to do better, and I’m sure most of us do, we just don’t think of them as a resolution usually – just a goal.

Here are my steps to making New Years Resolutions you can actually keep that aren’t overwhelming.

1. Begin by reflecting on the past year. Don’t just look at the bad, or un-kept resolutions. Remember the good times you had as well. Did you receive a promotion at work? Did you spend too much time playing Candy Crush and not enough with your kids? Were you generally happy or sad the whole year?
2. Now pinpoint areas in your past year that you’d like to see changed in the New Year. Focus on a few different areas. They may include

  • Health
  • Spiritual
  • Family relations
  • Work
  • Education

4. Write down different ways you can improve yourself in these areas. Don’t stick to just one at this point. Make a nice list.
5. Now narrow it down to just one goal you can work on for each area of your life. It doesn’t have to be specific either. It could be as simple as “Spend more time with my kids” or “eat healthier”.  Generalize it.
6. Now that you have a general idea of different ways to improve your life in the New Year, make a plan. A goal does no good if you don’t have a plan to accomplish it. What steps are you going to take?
7. Decide how often you will work on each goal. It could be once a week, once a month, or even daily – it completely depends on what your goal is.
8. Now write them down, type them up, and put your resolutions/goals with their plan in a place you can see them.
9. At the beginning of each month for the next year, reevaluate. Are you still working towards your goals? Have you accomplished any? Do you need to change your plan? Making a resolution or goal should not be a one time a year event. Come back to them frequently to make changes and improvements as needed.

Making resolutions for a New Year don’t have to be overwhelming. They shouldn’t be a one time thing either. We are not perfect, but we should strive to be the best possible person we can.

My 2014 New Years Resolution

To give you an idea here is one of my New Years Resolutions – Reconnect with all my siblings, and grow our relationship.
My plan? Write a letter monthly to each of them. Call them on their birthdays. To do that I need to get their phone numbers into my phone. If financially possible, visit each of them at least once during the year. This will prove fairly easy for most of my siblings since they live close, but I have a brother living on the east coast, who is planning to move his family to Belgium sometime next summer.  I will need to diligently save money so we can afford a visit to them. 
Now I obviously have more than this one resolution, but I hope it gives you an idea on how easy a resolution can be to make and keep.

Have a Happy and Successful 2014 everyone!
Don’t party too hard tonight. 

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