Can you remember what your New Year’s resolutions were last year? How did that work out for you? Let’s see, mine were: to be less judgmental, and to slow down and take myself less seriously. No easy task for the hyper-vigilant monster that dwells deep in (and, unfortunately, outside) my subconscious.
For some of us the ritual of setting New Year’s resolutions is an attempt to temporarily assuage the harsh reality of our lifestyle, for others a gleeful renunciation of inconsequential nonsense because…we can. Yet statistics show us that an overwhelming 40% of folks who resolve to better themselves actually achieve their goals! Here are some helpful tips from an enthusiastic veteran of this annual tradition that can help you succeed, too!
How To Succeed This Year
1) First, you may want to review your last attempt at setting your intentions. Were you successful? Why, or why not? Setting achievable goals is an art. Anyone can set them, but is a different thing all together to achieve them.
2) Want it, bad! I notice when I pick something I want to exclude, heal or change about myself or my life, I am almost always successful when I really and truly want it! Therefore, I am willing to stretch myself and do what it takes to make it happen. So you gotta ask yourself, how much do you really want it?
3) Make a public declaration! You don’t need to alert the press (unless, of course, you feel the need), but you might want to gather a few friends (one could work) and declare your resolve. Surrounding yourself with supportive people is an essential part of any success; always has been, and, as far as I can see, always will be. Got cheerleaders? If not, get some!
4) Post your goals where you can see them! For something to become a habit it takes 40 days of repetition. Put ‘em in a place you will see, until they become as habitual as brushing your teeth. Good idea, put ‘em on your tooth brush. Get creative. My girlfriend gave me a teddy bear with a timer to help me take timeouts!
5) Get back on the horse! Just do it! Look, no one is perfect, and this is never the objective. It’s about practice, about replacing self-defeating habits and behavior with juicy, practical alternatives that move you towards thriving. So, you fall off the horse, brush yourself off and get back on! The sooner, the better. Don’t waste your time beating yourself up. There is no proof that it helps, and is usually a unproductive waste of time!
6) Half time! Mark your calendar/iPhone/whatever, six months out to check in with yourself! Heck, mark your calendar every month with a pop-up, but set it up in advance. Especially if you’re like me, I love little surprises that remind me to feel good about myself!
7) Reward yourself! You deserve it! Think of something that will motivate you throughout the year. Something you want for yourself or maybe your children. Maybe start a retirement or money-market account with all the money you are saving by not buying cigarettes or by partying less. Whatever helps motivate you in healthy ways!
And, in case you were wondering, yes, I have been less judgmental, and am doing my damndest to take everything (including myself) less seriously! As I speak I am sitting in Carmel Valley just overlooking the ocean, about to take a walk with my husband and our dog, Bella, our treat to ourselves for a job well done in 2009.