Everyone’s great at making resolutions, but only a handful can successfully pull them off.  Commitment and consistency are the usual suspects why we fail, yet there are ways to overcome these challenges.  Simply apply these practical tips and half of the job’s done. 

1.  Write them down.
A tangible reference serves as a perpetual reminder.  Either on paper or on your e-gadget, what’s key is the physical list of ‘must do’s’ that you’ve written.  Authoring such piece is a self-awareness exercise that’s meant to inspire and ignite self-improvement actions.  Keep your list simple, but aspirational – the items shouldn’t be over the top, but hard enough to challenge you to be better.

2.  Make it accessible.
Keep your list handy.  This way, you won’t have much of an excuse about forgetting what you’re supposed to be accomplishing.  When you’re tempted to drop the ball or procrastinate, access your list for enlightenment.  Remember, you’re doing this for yourself not for anyone else, so make it an arm’s reach away – doing so will help to sustain your motivation when the New Year fever’s finally over. 

3.  Review regularly.
It’s not an exaggeration if I’d suggest that you revisit your list daily.  Not only will it allow you to keep your focus, but will also push your limits on resolutions involving change in behaviour.  If you failed on certain items today, you’re reminded to do better tomorrow.  Bottomline, familiarity brings comfort, acceptance and habit – use it to your advantage. 

4. Consider milestones.
You wouldn’t want to feel overwhelmed and burdened by your self-imposed intentions.  Turn the pressure off by cutting your resolutions to bite-size pieces in terms of timing and results.  Recognize your progression and give yourself a pat on the back for each milestone.  If aiming for weight loss, smile for every pound gone.  If quitting smoking, high five for every craving resisted.  You are your own cheerleader – make sure you deliver your cheers and stunts well.      

5. Keep it real.
‘A sound financial state via substantial savings and investments’ is a resolution.  ‘Hoping to win the lottery’ is pure luck.  See the difference?  If the desired result is achievable with your own efforts, then you’re safe.  It’s great to aim for the stars, but understand what’s realistic and attainable. Having this sense check in place is vital to avoid unnecessary frustrations and disappointments. 

6.  Ace the winning mindset.
You started this because you’re pragmatic about the idea.  You didn’t waste your energy to just fail in the end.  Embrace the ‘never say die’ thinking especially when the odds aren’t on your favour.  Interestingly, implementing resolutions may be considered a mind game – you’ll be clouded by counterproductive thoughts but you’d have to keep the faith and your emotions managed.  Every waking morning, get up to win and you’ll be conditioned for success.        

7.  Share with others.
Make those resolutions public.  A bunch will be skeptical and will wait til you give up, but the majority will be great supporters, encouraging you to make it to the finish line.  Sharing will also add confidence and a positive pressure to yourself (and your ego) that you won’t let failure be an option.  And if you end up with flying colours, your experience may even inspire others to follow suit.

8.  Celebrate and reward yourself.
If you’ve managed to tick the boxes come year end, raise a glass and celebrate your success.  Wear the ‘success story’ badge and be proud of your achievement.  Get yourself a tangible reward as an icing on top, but you’ll feel the real reward from within – a profound sense of fulfillment and self-actualisation that’s truly liberating.    

Thoughts?  Leave a comment.

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02 january 2017

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