For many years I’ve been setting New Year’s resolutions that usually do not work out. Either I don’t attain them or lose steam after a short while. Then I set new resolutions the next year and the same thing happens. What makes resolutions work or not work? I will share 4 ways that I believe help in attaining resolutions.
1.Establish Your Life Mission
Find out your life mission, purpose or chief aim and set goals towards that. Many times we set goals that don’t build onto something big and complete. They leave an “and then what?” question. For instance, “I want a better job this year” …and then what?
I like to work from the output. What Stephen Covey refers to as “end in mind.” What do I want ultimately? Jim Rohn says “You don’t start building a house until you’ve finished it”
To help determine what your life mission is, one of the questions you can ask yourself is: “if I had all the money in the world and everything I wanted, what would I do with my life?” Then start planning to live that mission. Set New Year’s resolutions as steps towards that goal.
2.Have Balanced Goals
Fulfilling goals are goals that encompass the 7 areas of life namely Spiritual, Mental, Vocational, Financial, Social, Familial and Physical. Setting goals to grow in all these areas leads to a more fulfilled life. There is a lot of evidence of people that set goals in a few of these areas and years later try to fix the neglected areas. For instance, those that only concentrate on vocational (career) and financial (money) would later start chasing physical (health) and family. Many people believe that you can’t have it all. Yes, you can have it all by balancing your goals. You might not move as fast as the person that is concentrating in a few areas but you will have a balanced fulfilled life.
3.Set Positive Goals
Set inspiring goals for each of the 7 areas of life. Negative goals are difficult to sustain. Unfortunately most New Year’s resolutions are negative. For example, “I want to lose weight” is not inspiring. It evokes negative emotions and it won’t be long before you lose steam. Instead “I would like to be fit and feel and look great,” is more inspiring. This is something you would want to be all the time. You don’t want to lose weight all the time. You will lose weight to a certain point and stop…then what?
Then you can further break down the goal into actual milestones for what being fit is for you. E.g. weighing so many kilos, fitting in those clothes etc. Then think about the work you have to do and the reward.
4. Keep it Real
New Year’s Resolutions that are based on other people’s lives (illusions and fantasies) are difficult to keep up. “I should cook more.” “I should get a Benz (because I’m CEO)” The question is “What would you want if nobody was looking?”
When “other people’s goals” are attained they are usually not fulfilling. Dr John Demartini says “Whenever you’re saying ‘I must’ or ‘I should’ you’re subordinating to someone else’s values. Love what you do and do what you love.” Set goals that evoke statements like “I’d love to.” If however, you feel doing something you don’t like will move you forward, love it by finding 50 or more ways in which doing that particular thing helps you get more of the things you currently love.
I wish you a prosperous and fulfilling life in 2010 and beyond!
Life is easy!