Resolutions - only for the New Year?

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How many new year’s resolutions have you made before? And how many have you stuck to? How many have you accomplished?

I am going to take a guess and I would say that for most of the population the rate of success vs failure would favour the ‘did not achieve column’. Why is that? I am not a professional gambler but here is my take on it.

We look at milestones such as New Year’s Day, birthdays or anniversaries as an opportunity in time to make a fresh start with a goal in mind where we are looking to improve an area within our lives. This moment in time seems to be the perfect opportunity because it indicates a vital point in our life where that particular date was when something significant happened and it is now a point of reference for us all to recreate a similar effect. That original effect reminds us of a happy time, a time of success or a time of positive change. Or looking at it from another view, it is a time that just makes sense to start that new goal.

There is the thought that there is no time like the present and, I tend to agree. Why wait for the perfect moment? What is the perfect moment? If we keep waiting for the perfect moment, then we might be waiting for a long time or we might even miss it.

I understand why we would wait for a time like New Year’s Day or a birthday. It gives us time to prepare for what is going to be a long and enduring process once you start your goal. It gives us a solid date to set things in motion. It gives us a psychological advantage because we have already won part of the goal by setting a date. A win before we have even started.

On the other side of the resolution coin, setting a new year’s resolution with little to no planning is a recipe for failure right from the word go. So, what is the perfect solution to all of this? It’s all starting to sound a little more difficult than it should.

Goals set correctly and actioned take time and effort to succeed. They don’t find success overnight, and they definitely don’t come easy. If they did, then there would be no point in setting goals because you would be doing it already.

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Time is something we are all short of these days due to the busy lifestyles we lead. Effort is only good when it is aimed at those things that will move us forward. When we throw our effort towards the things that gives us instant gratification, the easy stuff, that effort is easily found so we give ourselves that shot of happiness we think we need when really, long term happiness comes from hard graft and sweat. Most people choose the easy road over the hard one and that is where the recipe for unsuccessful resolutions is found.

My take on it is that whatever New Year’s resolution you set you need to be emotionally invested in the idea or it won’t work. If the resolution means something deep to you then the chances of success are increased. When we make these resolutions based on a want rather than a need we may tend to fall off the wagon pretty quick. Achieving your New Year’s resolution is never going to be a walk in the park. Achieving your New Year’s resolution is going to be long and difficult with a few speed bumps on the way.

Conclusion: If we can recognise right from the get-go that whatever New Year’s resolution you come up with it is going to be hard and take some considerable time and effort, then we will have prepared the mind for the long road ahead. When we hit a road block it is important to recognise that this is the time when we need to dig deeper and that this will pass with a little more effort. Once you get through the block the sense of achievement will be greater on the other side. Stay on course. Use your compass to keep you on track. Your compass might be an emotional one or a financial one. Whatever that compass is make sure you have it in your back pocket ready to open when you feel lost.

‘Grab the day. Don’t wait for it to come to you’