Like many people, the end of a year and the dawning of a new year provides a time for reflection and a time to dust off our resolutions for the year to come. As I no longer drink alcohol, fortunately the period of New Year's Eve that used to be dedicated to the self-loathing admission that none of my previous year's resolutions had been achieved no longer happens. However my awareness that I am not alone in this confession has grown. It's true – apparently only around 12% of people actually keep their new year's resolution! (Source: Forbes).
Does this provide me with an opportunity to cop out of making commitments to myself to change or become a better person? Is there a more effective way to use the beginning of the year as a point in time to make change in my life? Are there lots and lots of articles out there offering alternatives and solutions to this ongoing (apparently) eternal question? Yes – of course yes!
Only kidding, instead I've decided to make an alteration to how I view this process and thought I'd share it with you as you may find it helpful. Firstly, I'm going to reframe – they're not 'resolutions' they're 'goals'. Secondly, I'm going to categorise them – cos that's just how I roll... These are my choices, you can of course use these or devise/use your own;
1. Personal – meaning that stuff that I do outside of work.
2. Health – meaning that stuff that will improve my health – this can include diet and exercise plans.
3. Soul/spirit – meaning that stuff that's associated with my growth as a person – a member of this planet. It may include religious pursuits, meditations or even commitments to volunteering to help others or the planet.
4. Professional – meaning that stuff that I am going to do to improve myself in my work space. It may include achieving formal qualifications or training or achieving a new role/promotion.
Third, I'm going to be S.M.A.R.T about it. Remember that old nugget? (more reading: Wiki) Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound. Fourth, I'm gonna write it down. Almost everyone now knows that writing down your goals means that you are more likely to achieve them. (Source: Forbes 2). Finally – I'm going to review and celebrate regularly. Again, we need to know that all of this time and energy that we are investing is actually leading to that change that we want.
So please – go ahead and resolve and/or set goals. As for me, I'm also going to buy myself a beautiful journal in which to put all of this information and use it to reflect throughout the year. Yes, that's actually one of my soul/spirit goals for the year.
I love the idea of always working to be better and I genuinely believe that if more of us committed to this in a real way, our sense of achievement and self-esteem would improve. And although I hesitate to sound like a beauty pageant contestant, it would "help make the world a better place"!
Deb is currently working in Early Childhood Development but has a background in Retail Management, Administration, Human Resources Management, Project Management and Training. She has attended many and varied professional development programs throughout the years and is a voracious reader/reviewer of self-improvement strategies/theories and philosophies! She also fancies herself as being quite amusing... we'll let you be the judge