To make or not to make – New Year resolutions that is!

That same old annual question – should or shouldn’t I – has once again reared its ugly head?

Make New Year’s Resolutions that is?

I just don’t know anymore – is it a waste of time? Should I bother? Am I ever going to be able make them happen?

Rarely do I keep any of the Resolutions I put so much time into writing down. Just for fun thought I would turn on my computer and see what people had to say about the subject.

The thing is I would really like to make a number of positive changes to our lives (Alphie’s and mine that is) and that involves some positive and proactive goal setting.

There’s quite a rhythm to this time of year when you think about it, things like:

  • Take down the tree,
  • Vacuum the carpet of the pine needles,
  • Tidy the house of all the usual Christmas clutter,
  • Use up all the leftovers,
  • Make my New Year’s Resolutions list,
  • Start work on fulfilling that list.

Talking about New Year’s Resolutions it appears strange how similar my New Year’s Resolution lists, over the years, have looked like that of my girlfriends. Things like

  • Lose Weight
  • Exercise more
  • Set and keep to a Budget
  • Cut back on my TV watching time
  • Spend more active time with Alphie
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Keep the house tidier
  • Take more of an interest in cooking
  • Etc
  • Etc

Nothing exciting in most of them, nothing really that motivates me to get going, to get tough on myself is there? I suppose that is the main reason why I keep making, and breaking, them year in year out.

WILLPOWER that’s what I need. I have made a conscious decision to give that thing called “willpower” a proper work out in the coming year.

BUT working my willpower definitely has its limits.

And frankly there are limits to what you can achieve with Willpower alone! We all need to be sensible – don’t try to change everything at once. There is a lot to be said for PICKING ONE THING AT A TIME! I have lately figured out that way I will achieve a lot more and will come out a winner eventually in the Resolution Stakes!

So my best bet and tip to others, is to start by making one small change at a time. Not give myself an extensive list of 6 to 10 (or more) things to achieve at once!

I usually do the opposite. Which means nothing really happens with any of them, because the whole thing seems overwhelming. So keen to achieve things that I go in ‘boots and all’ with a minimum of at least 6 rather tough New Year’s Resolutions.

Most of them demanding weeks and weeks of dedicated attention from me too – not simply a few easy steps to start with. I never seem to have had the ability to break things up, ie take a goal and break it into small bites – THAT IS UNTIL NOW!

When you think about it, it makes sense to start small and build up. Makes it so much easier to make a start on something. Not such a hill to climb – becomes much more like strolling over a small bump!

I am going to not only to anticipate the problems I will no doubt meet along the way with my resolutions but I am going to PICK A START DATE for each goal.

In the past I stuck with starting my Resolutions on New Year’s Day – not so smart as there is still so much going on around you (for one Alphie is off school), things (and people) still are competing for my attention. SO – FEBRUARY sounds good to me.

So, what am I going to do this time around, this year? Really think about what Goals/Resolutions I wish to make, concentrating on 2 (or 3 at the very most) of them. Then break each of them down into “Mini-Goals”, “Mini-Resolutions”.

It is bound to work much better than my attempts over previous years – I HOPE!

Came across a great suggestion (in regard to keeping to your New Year’s Resolutions) on line that I intend to try out and that is the value of getting yourself in a good mood when attacking your resolutions. That is “Lift Your Spirits”, when trying to keep to resolutions. It’s easier to do things when you are in a good mood, when you’re happy. Common sense I suppose.

Also basic common sense when we think about it is that we need to plan rewards for ourselves as we go forward and also, alas, accept failure when it happens. In other words don’t be too savage on ourselves.