Here we are! It is time to set your New Year’s resolutions for 2017!
Do you remember the ones that you
had last year? And those of the year before? And the ones that you decided for 2014? What were the resolutions that you made 5 years ago? Have you delivered on your own commitments? If you didn’t, or simply don’t remember what those resolutions were, don’t worry, you are not the only one.
According to some research, New Year’s resolutions hold only for 2 weeks and in best case 2 months maximum. By December, most people are back where they started, often even further behind. Yet, every year, we do it again. Even those who don’t like the idea, make New Year’s resolutions by deciding to not make one.
In fact, I believe that we can all agree that it is good to make resolutions, whether at the beginning of a new year, or any other moment during the year, at our birthday, or after other significant events in our lives. It is the sign that you want to take control of your live, and when you do, you can achieve great things, beyond what you could possibly imagine.
So, why is it that so many of us fall short of their New Year’s resolutions? Why don’t we do what we know we should do?
It would take several books to answer those questions, and I will address them in more detail in future articles.
A week ago, my 13 years old daughter asked me what were my New Year’s resolutions for 2017. I didn’t expect the question and there were lot of possible answers going through my mind. As I was taking too long to answer, she said: “My resolution for 2017 is to read more and practice every day to improve my writing and drawing skills”. I know she is passionate about fashion design and writing, so I was not surprised. However I was impressed when couple of days later, she came to me with a list of books about fashion illustration techniques and writing styles that she wanted to buy.
Unlike most people who fall in the trap of too many, unrealistic, and vague goals, my daughter is very clear about what she wants to achieve this year, and she focuses on daily practice to get there.
No more than 1 resolution
To increase your chance of achieving your goal, you must focus. In the past, you used to have a long list of New Year’s resolutions. This time, limit it to one key objective.
Take time to consider what is really important to you. It could be about your personal, professional, or spiritual life.
It takes a huge amount of willpower and self-discipline to get things done, so, direct all your energy to what matters the most.
Remember, you can do anything, but you cannot do everything. Stay focus!
Focus on behavior
If you want to improve your work life balance, start by leaving the office on time, and go to your child’s school play.
If you want to quit smoking, stop that one cigarette you have after lunch.
If you want to lose weight, take the stairs and halve your food portions.
The message here is simple: drop vague and abstract goals, instead start new habit.
Change your behavior, and your behavior will change you.
Be clear about your intentions
It is essential that you answer the question: “Why am I doing this?”
And you must be convinced by the answer you give. There you will find the strength to keep going when it gets difficult.
If you set an objective only because that’s what people expect you to do, you will not get very far, and eventually you will be frustrated. Also if you think that it is enough to follow your passion, you will be equally disappointed, because most people don’t really know their passion. Don’t follow your passion, act with passion.
Write down your goal and the reason why you are doing it. Work on it with passion, and hold yourself accountable.
To summarize, set yourself no more than one resolution for this New Year. This should be aligned with your beliefs, and focused on behaviors. Above all, be clear about your intention; don’t leave it to circumstances and other people to decide what you should do this year. “Life is too short to live someone else’s!”, Steve Jobs.
This is true of individuals and corporation alike. And if it sounds like common sense to you, it is because it is indeed.
With that, I wish you a very Happy and Successful New Year!
First published on January 1, 2017