We’re at the time of year when the magic of Christmas has people convinced that reindeers can fly and any wish can be granted. What a perfect time to make New Years’ Resolutions!
Next year, I won’t eat ANY chocolate. I will quit smoking January 1st. In 2007, I will never spend any money frivilously. I will go to the gym EVERY morning for the entire year. I will clean my whole house. I will never fight with my spouse or complain about anything they do.
One of the reasons many New Years’ Resolutions are abandoned by Valentine’s Day is that they are simply too ridiculous to maintain. If you are a chocolate-eating, remote-toting couch potato, to tell yourself that you are going to win the Mr./Miss Universe Contest is simply out of your league. As exciting as it is to think about it, it will propel you to the gym for the first 2-3 weeks of January, where you will look around at men and women who exercise all year, and you will become discouraged and go back to the couch with a bag of Cheetos and the entire 4th Season of the Sopranos on DVD.
One way to make New Years’ Resolutions last all year is to be kind to yourself and to be realistic. If you currently spend $100 every weekend at the casino, don’t vow that you’ll never touch a slot machine in 2007. However, you could make yourself the promise that you would take one weekend day a month and go to a homeless shelter instead, and spend the day there, serving meals. Or, you could promise yourself that you’ll start only taking $85 each time, instead of $100.
If you make yourself a promise that you’re fairly capable of keeping, you’re much more likely to still be trying in Spring and if you’re still trying in Spring, you’re likely to see results by Summer and when you start to get results, you’ll want to keep going.
So, set yourself some goals, make some resolutions, but try to make sure that you can keep them up all year!