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!
IT'S TIME TO MAKE OUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!
Like most people, I make New Year's
Like most people, I have good intentions
of keeping my resolutions.
And like most people, I sometimes fail to
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
The reason, I think, is because it makes
us feel good...at least temporarily. It makes us feel like we are accomplishing
something, that we have some control over what will happen to us in the
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
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
MAKING SUCCESSFUL 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
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 will...eat only one helping at
• 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
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
Best wishes for a successful New Year,
whatever you choose to do with it!