As 2012 draws to a close you are probably now assessing how the year went – whether it was a ‘good year’ or not, and how it could have been better. We all have ‘good years’ and bad ones and it’s a number of factors that contribute to the overall taste the year leaves in our mouth.
No matter what your conclusion though, your ambition should always be to try and make the next year better and this way you can continually improve and make sure that life just keeps on going up. One way to do this is by improving yourself, and by making more of an effort to do everything you can to make it a good year – and that’s where new year resolutions come in – things you promise yourself you’ll do over the coming year to improve yourself and your circumstances, and to exercise the kind of discipline you need to make any lasting changes. Here we will look at some potential ideas for your 2013 resolutions that could help you to live better and get more from the next year so that it’s the best one yet. Meanwhile we’ll also look at how you should design your New Year’s resolutions to make them things you’ll be more likely to stick with.
Get Into Shape
This has to be one of the most common New Year’s resolutions out there, but it’s for good reason as it has a number of great benefits. If you want to make the most of the coming year then getting into shape is one of the very best ways to ensure you do as it will help you to be fitter and healthier, as well as looking better and being capable of more physical feats. Of course the resolution to ‘get into shape’ should be avoided as it is much too vague – the best ambitions are the ones that are easily measurable and repetitive so deign instead to do an hour-long workout twice a week for instance, or three times a week. If you stick to this then you’ll find your body takes care of itself. And you can make it more specific than that too, looking at why you’ve struggled to stick to your routines in the past and how you could make them easier to stay with.
At the same time, if your resolution is a set amount of weekly exercise then you can’t ‘fail’ to complete this as such – which you can with a resolution like ‘lose five pounds over two months’ – which has potential to be just depressing.
If you smoke then it will be like a ticking clock – you’re really just waiting for something bad to happen and meanwhile you’ll be spending large amounts of money, and at the same time making yourself a lot more off-putting to all those people who don’t smoke and are adverse to the idea. Make December 31st your last cigarette and then don’t touch a single one. Make the ambition to last a month to begin with and this will help you to find the motivation to continue further.
One thing that could have made 2012 better for most of us would have been having more money, and even if you didn’t struggle with money problems per say no one would be daft enough to turn down extra funds.
Saving money then is a particularly good way to improve your situation, and it’s also a sensible way to create a wet-weather fund so that you can look after yourself and your family in unforeseen circumstances. Again here your resolution shouldn’t be so vague however, rather make the resolution to ‘buy every day products from the pound shop’ or to ‘put away $30 a week’. Again this way it’s a strict rule you can easily follow and you’ll find that it makes a big difference.
Your Dream Project/Job
A resolution is different from a goal. You do not for instance say that you want to improve your salary by x-amount or that you want to become a rock star because such intentions are not directly within your control. However your career plans and dreams still can factor in here you just need to come up with a rule that will help you accomplish them. For instance you could say you won’t be late to work for the whole year, or that you will spend an hour a night on your music/sewing/website/magnum opus novel. The same goes for other projects and goals too, for instance ‘listen to speak Spanish tapes on the way into work every morning’, or ‘speak up at least once in every meeting’ or ‘save $50 a month towards my dream holiday’. Whatever your project or ambition, make your resolution to start actively (and resolutely) working toward it on a regular basis.
Be More Social
I nearly wrote here ‘say yes more’ but if you’ve ever read the book Yes Man then you’ll know that’s not necessarily the best advice. In fact when I first read this book it actually got me into substantial trouble for a year…
Instead then I’m just going to say ‘be more social’ which when translated as a workable resolution that you can stick to might be better phrased as ‘do at least two social activities’ a week. This way you’ll find you build stronger relationships with your friends and family, and that you have more great stories by the end of the year and more happy memories – a great way to get more out of life. One year I actually went back over my diary from the year before and made a tally of everything I’d done – every concert, every date, every night out and every workout with a friend – then made the resolution ‘to do more of everything’. And it turned out to be a very memorable year.
We’ve addressed health and careers, so the only thing left is romantic relationships. Of course just making your resolution to ‘meet a girl/guy by the end of the year’ again isn’t going to cut it because it is relying entirely again on divine providence with no action plan for how you’re actually going to accomplish what you set out to do.
Instead then you could make the resolution to be ‘less picky’, ‘to approach more people you like’ or to ‘talk to people through online dating’. The first two here are a bit too vague again, but if you can find a way to measure them ‘talk to any person at a bar/club/party that you look at more than three times’ and you can find this is a fantastic way to motivate yourself and get over the barriers that were standing in your way previously. If you’re already in a relationship however you could make yourself a better partner by spending more time with your other half, to do more quality things (remember to say how many and how often) or talking more and listening more.
Improve Your Rough Edges
We all have quirks and habits that we aren’t fond of, and we all do things wrong that we know we shouldn’t. I can list a few right now for instance – such as the fact I bite my nails, or that I’m too polite to the point where I apologise to people when they bump into me. Yours might be different – you might be grumpy in the mornings, or you might always leave the dishes out. These are easy little changes you can make, but they can make a big difference to your lifestyle and to the way others see you.
The way we look affects a lot more than just how others see us – it affects how we see ourselves too, the way we act and the confident aura we give off. Working on sharpening up your appearance then is a great way to ‘spend’ your resolutions so again look for a structured way to achieve this whether it’s to always iron shirts, spend more time on your hair each morning, or whether it’s to buy a new item of clothing and dispose of an old one at least once a month.
Make More Resolutions
With the genie you’re not allowed to wish for more wishes, but the good news is that no such rules apply here. Now that you’re on your self-improvement drive you’ll likely find that many elements of your life start to improve and things start to look up from here. So don’t leave it at that and just be satisfied – keep up the good work and keep setting new goals to make yourself the most well-rounded individual possible. And that means setting resolutions even when it’s not New Year too.