It has become a tradition to invite the New Year into our life by making plans for the future and setting resolutions. By the way, have you ever wondered why the goals that we set on the 31st of December are called “resolutions” and not, for example, “objectives”?
It is because we attempt to “re-solve” the same problems, reform the same bad habits and strive for the same ol’ goals that we set for ourselves in 2011, and the year before that, and the year before that?
Wouldn’t it be great to kick-start this year with a NEW kind of resolution that will be fun to pursue, easy to stick with and more enjoyable to accomplish, so that by the end of 2012, we will be able to look back with a renewed sense of accomplishment and pride?
If you do not feel like laundry listing the same over-achieving New Year’s Re-solutions you tried to achieve last year, why not choose a different approach that goes beyond traditional Goal Setting?
This is exactly what I intend to do – no ordinary goals and only 7 Uncommon New Year’s Resolutions to make 2012 one of the most fruitful, productive and satisfying years ever:
New Year’s Resolution #1: Learn one new thing about something
Usually right after New Year we have a few free days before we need to go back to work. Use this time to research your goals and learn more about them.
Think of skills that you would like to acquire, of experiences you long to have, of a place you would love to visit, of all the little and big things that you wish you did better.
What is the crucial piece of knowledge that you are missing? The more you educate yourself, the more prepared you will be to overcome possible challenges that you might run into when pursuing your goal.
If you have decided to start jogging in the morning, look for jogging advice for beginners, develop an optimal type of training for yourself, join a jogging group in the city where you live, find out what the common problems are that people who are new to jogging have and for the possible solutions to these problems. Bottom line – do not jump into your resolutions. Give yourself time to build excitement, motivation and knowledge!
New Year’s Resolution #2: Develop or eliminate one habit
When we think about how we can improve our life, several things usually come to mind – our health, productivity, career, getting out of debt, etc. But when we try to keep up with all the resolutions that we have set for ourselves, one by one, we end up giving up on all of them.
Instead if we just focus on one habit for at least 30-45 days, by the end of the year we may completely transform our body, start a new venture, pay off our credit card debt or become great at something we never thought we could do.
Do not spread yourself too thin! Think of the one habit that has been the biggest source of your frustration? Or what would be the one habit that would noticeably improve your life?
Start there! Other resolutions can wait a month.
New Year’s Resolution #3: Practice being patient
This is the one resolution I feel I need the most. A part of me secretly hopes that change can happen overnight and a few times in my life I have had startling revelations that in a matter of seconds have completely transformed the way I thought about something. But then I also know that it took me months and sometimes years to digest, apply, consolidate and make these changes part of my everyday life.
If you sometimes find yourself frustrated because you do not see immediate results of your actions, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that waiting and doing things slowly is much more gratifying, rewarding and successful than receiving them as if with a wave of a magic wand.
New Year’s Resolution #4: Maintain relationships
Christmas and New Year are two great holidays to get in touch and catch up with friends, relatives and clients that you have not seen for a long time. Use the month of January to revive and maintain relationships with the positive people in your life. Ask how their holidays went, add them on Facebook or Skype, offer to grab lunch together or invite them to your house for dinner.
Here are some great ideas on how to make new friends and not to lose the old ones.
New Year’s Resolution #5: Do something bold and memorable
One of the ways to kick start your year is to do something you have never done before, something bold, something exciting, something that your friends and family would not expect you to do. It does not have to be as extreme as going bungee-jumping, or as drastic as moving abroad for a few years (although if it sounds like something you would like to do, go for it).
The point here is to step out of your current zone of comfort and break free from your everyday routine. Because when you do the same things day in and day out, your actions become habitual, your experiences limited and your thinking inflexible.
Of course, stepping out of your comfort zone may be challenging, but it becomes easier with practice. I promise!
New Year’s Resolution #6: Start healthy
Even if you have gained a few pounds over the holidays, feeling guilty about it today accomplishes nothing. Begin your year by making conscious choices that will allow you to stay healthy, increase your energy levels, and keep your mind sharp.
There are plenty of small doable and repeatable steps that we can take to improve our physical shape and well-being. For example, my health resolution for this month is to stop drinking cold water with my meals. What is yours? What can you do to start this year healthy?
New Year Resolution #7: Rise above the little things
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to leave everything unneeded, unwanted, unnecessary and unimportant behind. To de-clutter your days from such time-wasters as mindless TV watching, internet browsing, window shopping. To throw or give away old things that have accumulated in your house over the years. To free yourself from the emotional clutter, forgiving those who might have hurt you in the past.
Let the old year take away all the offences, doubts, insecurities and worries. Make room for new exciting experiences, best friends, spiritual growth and your heart-yearned dreams!
Promise yourself that this year will be the best one ever!
Have you already set New Year’s Resolutions for 2012? What are they?