A lot of people start the beginning of every year making a bunch of empty promises to themselves, but it doesn't have to be that way. Is the concept of making a New Year's Resolution a great idea that everyone should embrace, or is it just another fad that we do because society tells us to? Do we even know what a New Year's Resolution should actually be, or do we just make the ones we think we are supposed to based on popular commentary? I recently asked people on my Facebook if they make New Year's Resolutions, and why or why not. I was actually surprised by how many responses I got shunning the idea of making resolutions to begin with.
Some of the answers I got included:
" It seems to be a setup for disappointment for the undisciplined, as most Jan 1st commitments fail within the first 2 weeks."
"If you can't resolve to do something and start it any day of the year, there's no reason to think you'll start it in the dead of winter, post-holiday, as you're sighing and going back to work, just because some arbitrary date on the calendar says everyone should now start over."
"I generally don't make new year resolutions. I am more inclined to follow through when I resolve to do things right away."
"I don't do New Year's Resolutions, but I do revisit where I am at quarterly and adjust accordingly."
"I don't do resolutions, however, I do set goals/write lists with timelines that I'll give myself throughout the year."
When it comes down to it, those I asked seem to dislike the stereotype that New Year's Resolutions have become, and on that note, I'd tend to agree. I think that people mistake what a New Year's Resolution should actually be. One thing you'll notice is that while the responses I got shunned actual title of "New Year's Resolution" they all seemed to agree upon the idea of goal setting. It's true, goal setting should be something that is kept up with regularly, because as our lives ebb and flow, our goals will inevitably have to change (or, of course, as we accomplish goals we should be setting new goals). I do, however, like to use the beginning of the year, personally, to plot out the main things I'd love to accomplish that year. I generally start out the year with a list of goals in mind... at least four or five big goals... and I'll even create vision statements and dream boards. This may, perhaps, seem silly to some, but I can tell you that since adopting this habit I have accomplished the majority of what I've set out to do.
Now, keep in mind, a goal isn't a wish. You can't just put a picture on a dream board and wish it into existence. The place where most people lose it with resolutions is that they don't have a clear idea of what they actually want, and then even when they do they haven't plotted out the necessary actions and habits to get them to that goal. But, fear not, you can LEARN how to properly set a goal. I, for one, think that you SHOULD get it together and start setting goals and planning your life, and if you are ready to do that, I have some suggestions for you!
Resources for proper goal planning:
- 30 Day Push (created by Chalene Johnson) http://www.30daypush.com/ - this is a FREE daily email system where Chalene Johnson will take you step by step through the process of figuring out what you want, setting your priorities, setting your goals and she'll teach you skills that you can put into place to help you accomplish those goals. I am doing this right now, and I've done it in the past, it's very affective, but you have to be ready to commit to about 10 minutes, or so, of daily "homework" (oh no!)
- The Nerdist Way (by Chris Hardwick) http://nerdist.com/nerdistway/ - this is one of my favorite "personal development" books, because it's written by a comedian, but is very valid and great at that! This will cost you a little dough (unlike the push program), but not much, and it's totally worth it. In fact, I recommend it in audio book form, because you'll laugh as you become more efficient.
- Goals! (by Brian Tracy) - http://www.briantracy.com/ - you can purchase the Goals! book at book retailers, and he also has a FREE downloadable book on his website (huzzah!). Unlike the Chris Hardwick book, however, I'd recommend reading Brian Tracy as opposed to audio book. This option is definitely the better choice if you prefer your reading to not have any swearing in it (as Hardwick's does).
- My Past Blog! "Are Your New Year's Resolutions Solid for Success?" http://www.chicagonow.com/fitness-at-home/2012/01/are-your-new-years-fitness-resolutions-solid-for-success/ - some simple quick tips for better goal setting techniques. This one is, obviously, free ;-)
If you are thinking, "Hmmm, you know, this goal setting thing DOES sound like a good idea!" then stick with me! For the next few weeks I'll focus specifically on goal setting regarding your health and fitness! Here's to a fabulous 2013, and I wish you much success!