New Year's Resolutions

No-Fail Plan for Making New Year's Resolutions
By Sam Johnson

     It's that time of year again:
    -- time to review the past year to see what we've done,
-- time to review the year to see what we should have done,
-- time to reshape our dreams, make new plans, set new goals!

In short,

Like most people, I make New Year's resolutions.
Like most people, I have good intentions of keeping my resolutions.
And like most people, I sometimes fail to do so.
By the year's end, like most people, some of my resolutions have not been resolved, and I feel a little disappointed -- disappointed I'm still 25 pounds overweight, disappointed I'm not getting enough exercise and fresh air, disappointed I still haven't read all the books I'd planned to read, and so on.
So why then do we even bother making New Year's resolutions?
The reason, I think, is because it makes us feel least temporarily. It makes us feel like we are accomplishing something, that we have some control over what will happen to us in the upcoming year.
Most people like the idea of starting over, turning a new leaf, clearing the books, wiping the slate clean.
The new year gives us a chance to do that.
Most people like setting goals for themselves, making new plans, dreaming new dreams.
And making New Year's Resolutions helps us do that.
Pinning up a new calendar and list of resolutions is like getting a second chance, a new lease on life so to speak. With our resolutions completed, we feel we're starting out the new year right, and we have every intention in the world of carrying them out and improving ourselves and the world around us.
But therein lies the problem.
Making the resolutions is easy, carrying them to their completion is another matter, good intentions or no, and generally that's all our new year's resolutions turn out to be -- good intentions and nothing more.
     I've been thinking about this for the past few days now in preparation for making my New Year's Resolutions for 2012. I have taken a few tips from goal-setting, time-management experts, and come up with what I believe to be a "No-fail Plan for Making and Keeping New Year's Resolutions."

Tips for New Year's Resolutions

Click the link below for more:
Tips for New Year's Resolutions


     • First, you must resolve to make no New Year resolutions you can't actually keep, and to avoid negative commandment-type resolutions. (Experts call this setting realistic, positive goals).
Instead of writing "Quit eating too much,"  "Quit drinking too much," "Quit spending too much," "Quit smoking," etc., write down "I hope to...,"  "I will try to ...,"  or simply "I only one helping at dinner," etc.

     • Secondly, time-management people say that if you want to achieve a goal, make it simple, specific, and set a realistic time for its completion (the shorter the better).
Instead of "I promise to read more this year," or "I promise to get more exercise," it's better to resolve to "read at least one book a month," "exercise at least 15 minutes twice a week," and so on.

     • Thirdly, plan to include several resolutions that aren't aimed solely on self-improvement, but provide a kindness or assistance to others, such as "I will resolve to volunteer an hour of my time each week to..." or, "I will take my wife out for dinner at least once a week," or "I resolve to bring home a 'mocha cake' for my mother when I go to the grocery store."
(Research shows that people who resolve to do more for others, actually end up doing more for themselves).

     • And finally, the experts say that to be successful in attaining your goals, you must review them often to check your progress, and you must have an incentive for yourself. (The prospect of keeping a resolution by itself is not always enough incentive to actually complete the goal).
To accomplish this, try writing your resolutions on the calendar month by month and even week by week as called for, and then mark them "complete" as you go, with little notations to "pick up a new book to read, you deserve it!" or other appropriate reminders as incentives to help you attain your resolutions.

     And if all goes as planned, by this time next year you should find that your resolutions have become good intentions fulfilled!
Best wishes for a successful New Year, whatever you choose to do with it!