2018 is finally here, and it is going to be awesome! It’s in your hands to make this year fun, productive and memorable. All you need to do is come up with New Year resolutions worth keeping. We’ve stored up a few tricks and ideas to share with you. But first, we need to understand, why New Year resolutions don’t work for us.
Monday Never Comes
We have promised to ourselves to start jogging every morning, eat healthy and read more, come January 1. However useful, these habits never take root. The moment we think about dragging ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to run through the sleet, our motivation deflates, and our runners stay in mint condition for another year. And when December rolls around, we dust off old promises and make them anew because this year we mean it. Sounds familiar?
The problem is that your subconsciousness and consciousness band together to prevent you from keeping the promise. To fool them, you need to identify the moment the tension starts to build when you think about your new healthy habits. Instead of spending an hour at a gym, find a 5 or 10-minute YouTube exercise routine and do it every day. Even if you feel particularly lazy, you can do five squats and feel good about it. In a month your inner struggle to avoid exercise will decrease, and you will be able to step up the pace of your sessions.
So start slow, and introduce one new habit at a time. It will take you more time, but by the end of the year, you will be able to see the results.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Are your New Year resolutions closer to impossible wishes than to practical goals? Either way, do not limit yourself. You can be as ambitious, as you want, just take several precautions to ensure your wishes come true without any undesirable side effects.
- Avoid words like “no” and other phrases with negative subtext. Psychologists suggest that our subconscious mind doesn’t recognize the negative. Therefore, your worst fears may come true instead of your wishes formulated in the negative.
- Fix the deadline and use the Future Perfect. Formulate what you wish to achieve by some date in the future.
- Use insurance phrasing to protect yourself. Finish each resolution with safe words, like “in the best way for me”.
- Detail your resolutions and ground them into reality. Ask yourself as many questions as you need to outline your wish and create its vivid image in your mind’s eye, complete with sound, taste, touch, and smell.
- Take responsibility. You are the only person responsible for keeping the resolutions, so do not transfer the control to other people.
Resolutions Worth Keeping
Think about the essential aspects of your life. The list can include health, family, friends, travel, studies, finance, career, etc. Now decide, what you would like to achieve or change for every aspect during the year. It can be an increase in your GPA, more time with friends, a trip to a place you have never visited before. The possibilities are endless, and they depend solely on what you wish this year to be.
The most common resolutions are material. You might want to buy a new laptop or the next iPhone. If you are a little more ambitious, you might aim for a flat downtown or a sports bike. But do not limit yourself to the material stuff, include new experiences to your list. Travel, new acquaintances, even a trip to another side of the city can be an eye-opener.
Another level of New Year resolutions concerns your knowledge and skills. High school and college courses should, in theory, prepare you for an adult life. However, you will need to develop the most necessary skills on your own. Try to master time-management or self-discipline, the art of selling your services or public speaking. Each of these will make an excellent addition to your resume, and when you can support them by getting the job done, your boss will be very pleased.
But the most important question you need to ask yourself is “Who do I want to be by the end of the year?”. Do you want to be a straight-A student or an intern at Google? Do you dream of becoming a freelancer or a startup co-founder? You might notice, that formulating your resolutions by answering these questions allows you to see the big picture, which will include most of your material and skill set goals. A word of caution: do not make more than two New Year resolutions this way, a higher number might be too difficult to maintain. After all, your goal is not to make resolutions, but to keep them for a year.
Here are some examples you can model to craft your own New Year resolutions worth keeping:
- By the end of 2018, I will have become an author of a New York Times bestseller in the best possible way for me.
- By January 2019, I will have bought and mastered a professional digital camera and enjoyed taking pictures and filming video.
- By the start of 2019, I will have traveled around four European countries and enjoyed the experience to its fullest.
Now you know why our resolutions tend to fizzle out the moment the Christmas tree goes down. But more importantly, you know, how to make bulletproof resolutions worth keeping. We hope our advice will inspire you to set exceptional goals and achieve them this year.