New Year’s Resolutions

27 December 2023

Forbes Health did some surveying and came up with some interesting information.

  • Previous years – For 2023 people were listing mental health endeavors over physical fitness. This could still be the aftermath of the pandemic and all of its fallout including restricted travel and events, as well as the economics of lost jobs.
  • For 2024 – This year they seem to think the hot resolutions, in order, are:
    • Fitness
    • Finances
    • Mental Health
    • Diet

The least favorites, in their survey, are:

    • Travel
    • Meditation
    • Reduced alcohol consumption
    • Better work performance

Whatever your goals are over the next few months, they are probably to help you feel better about yourself. If they are something you should do, they may be harder to fulfill than something you simply want to do. There are some techniques that work, if you apply them well. Think about these options:

Commitment – You need to believe that you are able to complete the change, so you need to choose wisely. Keep the terminology positive. Make sure the challenge is what you want, not someone else’s choice. Think about the options before you make the final decision. Make sure it is achievable and fits in with your overall values.

Visualization – This is a powerful technique. Set up a vision board. Picture yourself at your end goal. During this imagination period, see others around you and their reactions. A good time to make this visualization is just before you drift off to sleep to allow your subconscious to absorb the challenge.

Plan – Write it down. Be sure it is something that you can actually complete within a year or less. If it seems too large, carve it down. Create resonable steps. Even if they seem basic, write it down. Place your list of milestones somewhere you will see it, like on your vision board. You may want to avoid some public area like your refrigerator unless you want to discuss it with everyone who opens the door or is visiting you. As you set your goals, consider which ones will deserve a reward and what that reward will be. Positive reinforcement really does work.

Measurability – This can be more of a challenge than you think. If your goal is to learn to cook, then you need some standards like: learn a new technique each week, attempt a new recipe once a month, Something you can quantify.

Flexibility – Nothing ever works exactly the way we plan. Be prepared for set backs or detours. Try to envision some of the roadblocks and contingency plans. Realize that your goal may change along the way. If you realize that this is really not something you want to accomplish, toss it out and start with something else that you really want, need, or believe in.

Progress tracking – Keep a journal of your activities. When you accomplish milestones (see Plan), feel good and give yourself a pat on the back. Note your feelings, both positive and negative. Review the comments and make adjustments in your program.

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