03 January 2019
New Year, New Me? The end, or the beginning of each year, comes with all kinds of promises, with things we want to start, the ones we want to detach from, with lists numbered by new goals, and the belief that this time it will be different. The 2018 resolutions are not so pressing now, they are already forgotten in the conterminousnes of some new, promising and ambitious newcomers.
Perhaps 2019 is a good starting point for a reality check on these resolutions, specific to each new year beginning. And I’m not talking about giving up on personal ambitions, on the contrary, it’s a proposal to initiate a retrospective exercise, reviewing all forgotten or half-done lists of previous years, and being really different this year.
And if you have reached this paragraph with a cautious high eyebrow, let me also present you the results of a study on the most common New Year resolutions, their degree of difficulty and, above all, abandonment. It seems that the absolute top of the most common New Year resolutions is the desire to loose weight, make better financial decisions, give up the vices (whether we are talking about cigarettes, alcohol, or infinite scrolling on Social Media), to do more sports, to find the love of our life and, last but not least, to be better, more interesting people. Sounds familiar? It will sound discouraging what I’m going to tell you, but I said 2019 will be different, right? The facts: Only 25% of us remain connected with these resolutions 30 days after we’ve made the precious lists, and only 8% of us succeed in meeting them when the time runs out, on December 31st. Well, the idea in 2019 is not fall within those 92%
Yes, but how?
- Change focus. Don’t think of resolutions that can overwhelm you emotionally, like – I want to meet the love of my life. You will put unnecessary pressure on your shoulders. Change it, rather, with I want to go out for events every month. If you accept to expose yourself to all sorts of social “experiments,” you will expand your circle of acquaintances, win new friends and self confidence. Everything else will be a bonus.
- Be specific. Drop out on resolutions that are vague, like – I want to lose weight. Replace them with goals. Specific ones. I want to lose one pound every month. Organized, attentive, without endangering my health. Schedule a visit to the nutritionist. Go get yourself a gym subscription. Write these things on the list.
- Establish priorities. Take a general goal – to make more money, for example – and try to break it into smaller and more precise categories. Then see what is relevant to you and define it as a priority. How do you plan to maximize your earnings in 2019? Get a job promotion? Change your job? Start a business? Keep your job and start a side business?
- Checkpoints. There are several reasons why only 8% of us succeed in all this resolutions for the new year game.I think one of them is linked to the number of resolutions, we burst them into a list that we loose (sometimes deliberately) in a dark corner of our room and brain, far enough that it doesn’t make us we feel ashamed by May or June when we work on spontaneous, superficial lists. This year, after you make sure you have specific, tangible resolutions and you have set your priorities straight, plan some periods for intermmediary checks. You can do this weekly, monthly or quarterly. You set the pace.
- Be consistent.The key to success here is consistency. If you work on this year’s resolutions sporadically, the results will be either unsatisfactory or totally non-existent. Hard work pays off. Keep this advice in 2019.
If the resolutions of the past years have disappointed you one way or the other, I hope you can use the above proposals for this year’s exercise. In setting the 2019 goals, I hope you will ask yourself many questions, simple questions about what you really want, what brings you joy, what saddens you, and most importantly, what are your main sources of energy. Just by asking such questions, you will find answers and you will fill in some more realistic lists, which will be close to the true nature of your soul. One last tip, no matter the circumstances, don’t take yourself too seriously. A famous man once said: Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who love.
Have a happy and productive 2019!