Every year we make new goals and envision our lives with a fresh start, but the magic often fades away before any positive change occurs. So what does it take to make good New Year’s resolutions and how can we achieve them?
The Secret to Achieving New Year’s Resolutions and Goals
Whether we make resolutions or not, everyone stops for at least one moment to think about how the new year will affect their life. Some of us spend it looking back at our past hardships and failures, vowing that the next year will be different. Some of us get excited and spend it looking forward with big aspirations. For others, the new year is just an insignificant change in the date.
New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be made right away, nor do they need to be achieved right away either. So don’t fret if you haven’t started your plan or come up with any resolutions yet. The ultimate goal is positive change, no matter what the timeline is. After all, aren’t New Year’s resolutions just promises to ourselves to make our lives better?
Let us share some of our Pearls of Wisdom with you. Consider these tips for creating New Year’s resolutions that stand the test of time and truly bring positive change in your life.
Positive New Year’s Resolutions are More Likely to Succeed
Resolutions centered on criticisms of yourself or negative behaviors likely fail. Change is hard, but change is even more hard when you’re starting from a negative view of yourself and your abilities. Often, people who relapse on their resolutions just give up and move on. If you want to create real change for yourself, this kind of all-or-nothing attitude will hold you back. Choose long-term New Year’s resolutions that are positive and have win-win results so that they are still worthwhile even if you don’t totally meet your goal.
Be Realistic and Choose New Year’s Resolutions that are Unique to You
People tend to give up or forget about their New Year’s resolutions because they were unrealistic and never really committed to them from the start. Avoid the typical “Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions” that we’re all too used to hearing about: losing weight, quitting smoking, you know the drill. Instead, pick more specific resolutions that are unique to your life.
Better yet, pick things that might actually be achievable. We’re often too ambitious with our New Year’s resolutions because we get excited by the prospect of a fresh start. However, our routines and habits have accumulated over the years and don’t recognize this fresh start at all. We set ourselves up for failure when we choose new year’s resolutions that don’t fall into our lifestyle or routine. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t step outside of your comfort zone— you just need to pick goals with plans that are tailored to who you are and how you work.
Practise Daily Mindfulness and Focus on the Present
Focusing on the present may sound counter-intuitive to the entire idea, but try making this one of your New Year’s resolutions. Live each day as if it were your last, pay more attention to the simplest of things that we often take for granted, and experience everything fully and wholeheartedly.
If you’re too caught up in thinking about the past or the future, you can’t focus on what you’re feeling and doing in the present. It creates a disconnect between you and reality which affects your ability to make change. For example, if you choose to focus on how far you have to go to reach your goal or how badly you failed in the past, how are you supposed to succeed today?
Most importantly, practising mindfulness affects your overall well-being because studies have shown that it’s related to higher levels of optimism and life satisfaction. Once you stop and think about the little details in life, you become more grateful for them— not only does that make you a better person, it also makes you a much happier one.
Practise Gratitude Every Day, Not Just on Special Holidays
This may be one of the easiest and most fulfilling New Year’s resolutions you can make and it’s never too late to start. Gratitude benefits the mind as well as the body; studies have shown that people who practice gratitude have less anxiety and depression, better eating habits, engage in more exercise, sleep better, and enjoy healthier relationships.
One particular study randomly assigned groups to either express gratitude or complaints for two weeks. One group listed five things they were grateful for every day, while the other listed complaints and hassles in their lives. Even after a follow up months later, those who practiced gratitude continued to self-report higher gratitude, increased optimism and positivity, and more overall life satisfaction.
Isn’t it beautiful to think that gratitude has such a powerful positive impact on all of our lives?
Gratitude shifts the focus away from ourselves and onto others. A simple way you can practice gratitude this year is to focus on all the things you depend on other people for on a daily basis.
Pearls of Wisdom: Top New Year’s Quotes for 2016
If you want to achieve your goals for 2016, you need to avoid the typical New Year’s resolutions, be more positive, focus on the present, and practise gratitude. Now that you know how to make good New Year’s resolutions, you need some motivation and positive affirmations to get you started! Here are some timeless pearls of wisdom to inspire you:
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Aristotle
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg S. Reid
“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” – Zayn Malik
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.” — Melody Beattie
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” — George Sheehan
“Some people swear there’s no beauty left in the world, no magic. Then how do you explain the entire world coming together on one night to celebrate the hope of a new year?” — Claire Morgan
“Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.” — Michael Josephson