In this post I hope to give you some inspiration for coming up with New Year´s resolutions, and tools for how you stick to them.
New Year's resolutions is a tradition, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement. Creating deep, lasting change is of course about willpower but also about designing smart, effective goals.
1. COMING UP WITH IDEAS
You might already have something very specific in mind, or you might have the intention of setting resolutions, but just can´t decide what they should be.
Consider this when planning your resolutions:
They should be something very personal to you.
It should be something that is in your own power to change rather than relying on forces out of your control.
Think about an actionplan for HOW you will achieve your resolutions .
It should be something small enough that it can be incorporated into your everyday life, but large enough that after some time it will have a big effect.
2. WRITE IT DOWN
Writing down your resolutions enforces them. Both because you remember them better, and because it feels more official. It´s like making a contract with yourself.
And have fun with it! Write it on a nice piece of paper, decorate it and hang it somewhere where you will see it every day. If you don´t want others to see it you could keep it in your calendar instead.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORDING
Sometimes the wording makes all the difference in how you feel about a goal and whether or not you will achieve it.
Imagine your intention is to make 1 piece of art a week for the next year. There is different ways of wording it.
For instance - "I am going to create 1 piece of art every week for a year".
This is very assertive and specific. It will work for some, but not for all. The risk behind this statement is that it is so specific and if you miss just one week, you will probably feel like you have failed and might give up all together.
The intention of creating an artwork each week is great, but how you word it could make or break the resolution.
"I am going to prioritize more time for my own art, and will set some time aside each week for painting". This statement is less specific, but yet the intention is clear.
Many people makes resolutions to quit, stop, loose or lessen bad habits. I don´t underestimate the power of starting fresh at New Year, but personally i prefer to focus on the positive. When creating my resolutions I try not to use words like "not", "but" or "try".
Take ownership over your resolutions. Create powerful statements that you can be proud of.
4. DONT OVERCOMMIT
Don´t commit to too many resolutions. There is no right or wrong, but i personally think 3 is a good number. You might choose to focus them all around your career or you might want to divide them up between work and family life etc.
For a resolution to work it needs to become a habit. So you need an action plan - pick small actions and make them part of your daily or weekly routine.
That´s why you shouldn´t make too many resolutions, or make them too broad. Be realistic.
5. ENJOY THE JOURNEY
As with anything the result is better when we enjoy the process.
It´s important to think about the journey rather than just the end goal. If your goal is to create a painting a week, 52 paintings a year, have you failed if you only get to 45 or even 20? The answer is up to you, but for me as long as you have learned something and have enjoyed the journey then you can never loose.
Of course breaking promises, especially those you make to yourself, can be de-motivating. That´s why you should think carefully about your resolutions. Think ahead - what challenges do you think you might meet?
Time restrictions? Motivation?
Telling friends and family about your goals are great for motivation. Depending on what they are, you might even be able to tackle them with someone who shares the same passion or hobbies, making the journey even more enjoyable.
And remember - New Years resolutions isn´t only for New Year. Every day is a chance of a new beginning.
Would love to hear what resolutions you guys come up with.
Bring on 2017 !