“I’ll start tomorrow.” – A lot of us, every day
The end of the year is an important time for all of us. It’s time spent with friends and family, it’s time spent away from hectic work schedules, and it’s time taken to reflect on the year that has passed. It’s also an important time for goal-setting and planning our resolutions. As is true for many things, it is sometimes easier to start off new plans, projects, or initiatives at rounded whole-numbers instead of starting at a random point in time. It’s no wonder, then, that the New Year is everyone’s favorite time to really think about making changes and turning things around. It allows us all to start fresh, with a perfectly clean slate.
The problem, however, is that regardless of how keen we may be to make changes, actually making them is a lot harder than simply deciding that they need to be made. Most people give up on their resolutions a few days or weeks into the New Year because, let’s face it, it’s hard to change ingrained habits that have built up over years and years with the flip of a switch.
New Year’s resolutions involve a lot more than just making a resolution, so if you want to make resolutions that will actually work and make you a changed person, here’s a few ideas to try.
Invest in yourself
So many people waste their time, health, and energy because they never had to really give anything up for those free blessings. If you want to learn something and you sign up for a free course, how long do you expect that you’ll make the most of something that cost you nothing? Contrast this with your dedication levels when it comes to completing a premium course for which you paid $19.99. Not completing that would be money down the drain, and you would instinctively be incentivized to see it through.
Paying money for reaching your goals is not the takeaway here; the lesson is how to get in the right mindset of not letting something go to waste. By investing in yourself, you will have tangible reasons to make changes that need changing.
Don’t strive towards blanket changes; change what’s important
“You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to lose weight? Quit smoking? Hit a certain business or personal milestone? Do more or less of something? Whatever you decide to do is entirely up to you, but what’s important to keep in mind is that changing too many things at once is not only not recommended, but it is not even possible for most people. The exception to this rule is when there is something that you really, really want to change. And by that I mean you are willing to do what it takes to get there: to do your homework, to make the right plans, to get through the highs and lows, to leave the environment that makes it hard to make changes, and to stick to the program, because the end will be worth it. When a few aches and pains are enough to throw you off your change regimen, that is a clear sign that the end goal was not worth it for you. Be of the mindset that what you will achieve at the end is worth more than the comfort of ease now, and it gets easier with every passing day that you stick to your new routine.
In summary, there are lots of tips and tricks that people talk about to help make their resolutions a reality, but most of them don’t work because some people aren’t as invested in change as they’d like to think. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink, and change will not happen for anyone unless they really want it to happen. This is even more important than making resolutions in the first place. The sky isn’t the limit; the mind is. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe in it 100%. Also, if you can get yourself in the right mindset towards making meaningful change by investing in your personal development, owning your uniqueness and be willing to do the required work, you’ll be better positioned for sticking to your resolutions throughout the upcoming year.
Would love to hear about your progress! Feel free to email me at shyra(at)shyrasmith.com to keep me posted on how you’re doing! I’m wishing you all the best!