At this time of year we tend to look back on the old year and think about the new one ahead. What have we achieved during the old year? What would we like to achieve next year? We often make new year’s resolutions but it’s easy for these to go by the wayside. A common one, and one that I tend to make most years, is to get fitter and eat more healthily. I know from experience that despite our good intentions this can get forgotton very quickly. So how can we make really meaningful new years resolutions? Well, make yourself a coffee or something stronger, sit down and give this method a try:-
Take a large sheet of paper, write New Year Resolutions 2016 in the middle, draw arrows pointing to key areas of your life which could include, health, career, friendships, relationships, travel, hobbies, spiritual life etc. and under each heading write anything that comes to mind in terms of what you would like to achieve in 2016 under that category, do not censor yourself, keep writing, you are just releasing ideas at this stage.
When you have exhausted your ideas, read through all that you have written and link any together that are similar. Circle the 10 resolutions that most stand out for you.
Look through the 10 resolutions you have chosen carefully and prioritise them, the one you want to work on most being 1, then 2 and so on. Concentrate on your top 5. If possible make each one from a different area of your life, e.g. career, health, relationships, travel. Write down these top 5 goals and why you want to achieve them.
Take the first one, what would it be like to achieve this goal? Visualise yourself having achieved it. How do you feel? Spend 5 minutes imagining that you have achieved it as if this was true. Where are you? What are you wearing? Who are you with? What does it feel like? Write your answers down.
Now, what are the main stepping stones (smaller goals) to achieving your first goal? Write them down. Look at the first stepping stone. Can you achieve this in one go or does it need to be broken down into steps? If so write down the first step to achieve this. Write down when you are going to carry out this step? Include a date and time, be specific.
Repeat this process for each of your top 5 resolutions or goals. You should now have 5 actions to take your 5 goals one step nearer.
Ensure that you take the actions. When you have taken the first action for each goal, work out the next one and a date and time to achieve that by and ensure you carry it out, and so on. Every time you have completed your 5 action steps reward yourself.
If you stop taking steps for any reason don’t be hard on yourself, look at your goals again and the reasons why you want to achieve them, then get back on track and continue. Imagine what you could have achieved by this time next year if you carry each step through and then keep taking the next one!
As Goethe said “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
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