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Bitten by the New Year Resolution Bug

As the Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks exploded into the night sky, I couldn’t help but wonder at the millions of people thronging the harbour foreshores, watching it live on television or from the decks of Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve cruises, silently making New Year resolutions they may or may not keep.

What’s with the New Year? It definitely wields a certain kind of guilt-inducing power that preys on our conscience as we lose ourselves in the overwhelming emotions that accompany ‘New Beginnings’!

New Years Eve Fireworks Display on Sydney Harbour

It’s like a microchip embedded in us that is programmed to activate during the transition when the year that is past takes us into the year to come. We find ourselves involuntarily sliding into a zone where our minds have been conditioned to wind down, take a trip down memory lane and audit the past year – what was, what is and what could have or should have been!

As a result, the New Year produces a lot of fake January people running around trying to ensure that their New Year Resolutions are not lost in procrastination and that their promises are executed with the same fervour that they were made! But, will they make it past January and follow through with their actions is the all-important question!

I definitely don’t fall into the category of the self-restrained celestial few who set New Year goals and slowly but steadily work towards achieving them. I hate setting myself up for failure, which is why the skeptic in me doesn’t want to get caught up in the New Year resolution conundrum.

But, if I were to make resolutions, I would ensure that I had a plan in place to achieve them because ‘failure’ is a term I have no tolerance for!

Here’s what I would do…

Set specific and realistic goals, not broad-spectrum ideal achievements

For instance, if I wanted to lose weight, my resolution would be to lose the first five kilos in two months. I would plan a reasonable weekly diet and insert a short exercise schedule into my daily routine, and if I can keep it up, make positive changes accordingly.

But, if I were to resolve to lose 20 kilos and get healthy this year, without a plan in place and short-term stepping stones to aid my journey, I would be setting myself up for guaranteed failure. I say that with surety because once you fall off the horse, there is no short-term achievable goal that will motivate you to get back on it!

Set goals that are based on systemic plans not will power

If I were to say ‘I will sleep by 10 pm every night or I want to walk more’, without having a systemic plan in place, I’d be counting on my sheer will power to execute these goals. And, we all know how fragile a commodity will power is!

Instead, if I resolve to turn off the television and all other gadgets by 10pm or to park my car 10 minutes away and walk to and from my destination, I have hit upon a systemic plan to achieve my goal.

Make any resolution fully expecting setbacks

If I were to resolve to do anything, I would ensure that I’m in it for the long haul, so minor setbacks will wield no power over me. With this ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again attitude’ I’m sure 365 days to the next New Year will be more than enough to achieve any goal!

I think I’ve just convinced myself to jump on the New Year Resolution bandwagon and actually work towards achieving my unspoken resolutions! So what if it’s the middle of January, I still have 11 months to go!

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