How to Write New Year’s Resolutions

4 January 2023

Well, its that time again. Facing a blank sheet and deciding to make some resolutions for 2023. If it is like years past (and why wouldn’t it be?), the most common choices are:

  • Exercise/lose weight
  • Organize yourself
  • Money management
  • Quit smoking
  • Learn a new skill or hobby
  • Spend more quality time with family and friends.

The first step is to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Change is always difficult. If you have tried to adjust in some of these areas before, you need to put things in perspective and decide what worked and what didn’t and go from there.

Set goals that are important to you and no one else. While support and cheerleaders are important, you need to put yourself first and choose things that have a benefit for you. Look at your dreams and aspirations as well as priorities and goals. Keep things manageable with a limit on the goals you want to achieve.

As you start to decide what to focus on, your final decision should be short, only one or two resolutions. To help you decide, go old school. Write your choices down on post-it notes and find a flat surface (wall or table) where you can look at the options. The post-its allow you to place, re-place, adjust, whatever. Take your time. It is preferable to complete a single resolution than to have multiple goals floating in the wind.

Use this same technique as you refine the steps to accomplish your goal. Go from general to specific, or, in other words, big picture to each detail. For instance, learn a language. Next, list of languages you might be interested in. Then, subtopics of classes….local community ed, junior college, online sources, private tutor. Even go down to ancillary steps like where you would practice speaking and understanding that language outside of the course.

Much of it is knowing your own limitations, including time, budget, and energy. Develop a schedule for yourself. This can be an appointment at the gym or a deposit into a savings account that you view periodically. It must relate to your goal.

The rest is psychological. Write the resolution down on paper. Place it where you will see it twice daily. However, you might want to keep it in a place where you won’t have to explain your choice to everyone who visits you. The best time to read the resolution is first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Say it aloud. Visualize the result. Keep things positive.

Remember that this is about you. Even if you are working with a buddy, track yourself and try to avoid comparisons.

While this is a lot of time in preparation, don’t use it as an excuse. Procrastination is a stumbling block we all deal with. Another bump in the road are set backs. If you stumble, don’t just give up. Rise with as much of a new attitude as possible and proceed.

You have all the right tools. You thought carefully about what you want to accomplish and have a detailed action plan. You know how to track your progress and how to deal with setbacks. You have set yourself up for as much success as possible.

Best wishes for a successful, enjoyable, safe. and healthy 2023.

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