New Year’s Resolutions – Easy to Make, Easy to Break?

New Year’s Resolutions

It seems that every year as the days of December are fading away, people get into a contemplative mood about what the New Year can bring. This is a time for the great declarations of intentions that, whilst seeming noble and achievable from December 31st until Jan 4th, become boring and failed from Jan 5th!

So is it worth making a New Years resolution if they are so easy to give up on? I still think it is. Thinking about making a fresh start for the New Year offers us the opportunity to meditate on what is possible in our lives and be expansive in our ideas for us to be better in some way. It is a chance to step outside the norm of our everyday existence and dream about self improvement or improving the lives of others.

Maybe it won’t last for more than 5 days but heck that’s better than nothing! For those thinking of their 2009 New Years resolutions there are a few things we can do to make it easier to set ones that are realistic to keep and to stick with.

1.    For a start rather than trying to ‘give up’ something, think about gaining something instead. Whether it’s smoking, drinking or eating junk foods, ‘giving it up’ soon loses its appeal when cravings set in or social circumstances bring these things into our sphere again. So instead of giving up, think about what you want to gain…maybe it is better health, a slimmer figure or more money.

When we look at what there is to gain we can imagine the array of things associated with that new desire and make wider lifestyle changes that support it. Then if we eat the odd piece of junk or have a few too many tequilas one night we haven’t really failed and we can renew the idea of what we are seeking to achieve the very next day.

2.    Sticking to a goal is difficult without support so enlist your friends and family to help you. Try making a resolution with a buddy who will call you into action to get to the gym when you feel like being a couch potato or vice versa. If you are really brave, tell all your friends and get them to check in with you each week about your plans.

3.    Think about what life will be like if you stick to your resolution and what it will be like if you don’t. Really get into a deep visualization about each scenario and choose your preferred one. Go into this visualization on a regular basis to help give you the motivation to stick to your new path.

4.    Offer yourself an incentive. If you are giving up smoking for instance, you could save the same amount of money you would spend each week in a large jar with a big picture on it of something wonderful you are going to buy for yourself with the savings. As you see the cash stack up you will get excited and stay motivated.

5.    Finally a great New Years resolution could be to do something for others. Whether it is visiting your elderly granny once a week or volunteering on a conservation project, doing something that benefits the lives of others brings us out of our personal concerns but at the same time often leads to great personal development.

Well I’m still working on what my New Years resolution is going to be but I am definitely wishing for a peaceful and purposeful 2009 for myself and everyone else. Happy New Year!

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