With all that New Year holiday plans and Facebook mocking us with ‘it’s been a happy year’, it’s time to say good bye to 2014. Regardless of who we are and what we do, this year has definitely been a carrier of some exciting memories, a pain in sad times, a lesson we learned from failures and an invitation to some amazing relationships. This December consider yourself much wiser than how you were the same day one year before.
Darwin theory applies for the human mind as well. The psychological being needs to adapt itself for the changing environment. Sometimes we change with the flow of circumstances and sometimes we force changes for our best hoping to be a better self tomorrow. And it’s this time of the year, where we choose to force ourselves the most with all our New Year resolutions.
But honestly, how many of these resolutions you have been able to continue for at least a month? Forget a month; what about a week? Chill, you’re not alone in this. In a research conducted for the year 2013, about 92% of Americans didn’t succeed in achieving their goals. Though the number comforts us, we still aren’t happy with our failure in achieving the goals that could’ve made us a better person this year itself, and not having to wait for the next year to improve. So what is it that makes these 8% of the people continue following their resolutions for an entire year? Here are some ways that psychologists recommend to help you realize your goals this year.
1. Set realistic goals and be specific.
Two among the 10 common resolutions Americans make are to stay fit and to fall in love. The reason why they’re bad resolutions is that the former is not specific and the latter may not be totally realistic. Being specific means to decide how to stay fit (hitting the gym, jogging every day, yoga) and also to mention the time and the hours per week that you’ll be devoting for workout. When you make such specifications, you mentally provide a clearer image to your brain and it’s the best way for the brain to get used to doing something that could become a habit. Some examples of resolutions that sound more implementable are ‘Jogging five days a week for 30 minutes including 5 minutes of warm up and 10 minutes of speed walk in the end from 6 am around the park’ and ‘Reduce the number of cigarettes I smoke a day by 50% every month and limit my smoking time to the recess alone’.
2. Implement them with ease.
Don’t confuse yourself with too many resolutions. Prioritize and choose like the best five (maximum) for the moment. There’s no need to start all the resolutions at the same time. Start a couple of them; continue like for like a month where by that time you would’ve got the habit of them and then later, implement the rest, one by one.
3. First, ask yourself why?
There must be reasons why you want to achieve some goals so badly. Dig your brain deeper and list them all down. Write them down somewhere you can access anytime.
There will be times where you fail and you feel like giving up. Initial stages of learning anything new or starting a habit might bring failures and demotivate you. But remember, it’s absolutely natural. So, never give up that time. But when you feel like doing so, take this list and read it. You should feel motivated again once you realize why you started all of this.
4. Focus on the process and not the outcome.
You don’t get good at something overnight. It involves testing yourself in different stages of learning. Enjoy the learning process. Try to compete with yourself to be better every day. Heard of the one percent solution? Be one percent better than your previous self and these improvements will add up tremendously and will surprise you. The initial stages, of course, show very slow improvement because of it being just one percent, but as time goes, it’ll grow like crazy. The sad part is that we all lose interest and motivation right in the initial stages itself and very few like those 8% of the people stay focused long enough to experience the joy of achievement. So focus your plans to the process instead of just looking at the outcome required. Sometimes that takes you way ahead of what you expected to be.
So that’s it! Here are four simple but effective steps to realize your goals. Hopefully the same time next year, you will come up with a new set of goals for 2016 and none of this year’s resolutions will have to be carried on.
Wish You A Happy New Year
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