A New Year’s resolution is a promise or goal one makes to improve life in the coming year.
The tradition of New Year’s resolutions dates all the way back to 153 B.C. January is named after Janus, a mythical Roman god who had two faces — one looking forward, towards the future and one looking backward, on the past.
On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward into the old year and forward into the new year. And, it became a symbolic time for Romans to make resolutions for the new year and forgive enemies for troubles in the past.
This gave birth to the New Year’s resolution. Resolutions can come in many forms. Studies state that self-improvement tops the list with promises made to quit smoking, eat better, lose weight, be debt-free, etc.
What makes resolutions stick? Research on the Self-Determination Theory reveals that feeling confident and competent in achieving your goals is one of the highest predictors of success.
Begin with the ‘why’, it’s the best place to start as Simon Sinek says. What is your reason to quit smoking or losing weight or being debt-free? Clarity on the why is a great start. The reason must be compelling for you to achieve it. A client, Jay was hell-bent to quit smoking when he came upon his 3-year-old daughter emulating him by smoking the cigarette stubs in the ash tray.
It has to come from within – not because your spouse thinks you must or your friend feels you need to.
Determine the process to make it happen. What will help you in achieving your resolution? First of all, it stems from the decision that it can be done. Visualise it. Strategise it. When you create the roadmap, you will be more confident on the route to be taken. Keep the goalpost in mind, so in case you waiver, you can redirect yourself towards the goal.
Rome was not built in a day. It was built day by day. Start small. Start from wherever you are. Make one tiny change each day or each week. Make it and stick to it.
Jay began by reducing one cigarette a day for 30 days. After 30 days, he pushed the bar further and used alternate mechanisms to deflect the triggers. He went for a jog. He took up dancing classes. Small steps to get you closer to victory than the overwhelming thought of drastic change.
Get yourself a Goal Buddy.
There will be times, your excuses will outweigh your resolve. Share it with your spouse, friend, sibling or co-worker who can prod and goad you to stay on track. It’s when you weaken that you may fall into the trough of falling short of your goal.
Your goal buddy will become your biggest support. In case you have none, get yourself a coach.
Acknowledge and reward yourself for each victory. Every step forward is a win. If the needle has moved even a centimeter, it’s success! Develop, an attitude of gratitude. Spread the joy. Share it with everyone. You might just inspire someone around you who has been looking for motivation.
Jay may not have quit smoking altogether, but achieving one cigarette a week is victory. He shares it proudly with everyone he meets. His resolution for the year continues and he is confident come March 2019, he will have achieved the last mile!
Whatever resolution or goal you have set your mind on, you have the ability to make it happen.
While it may seem daunting, take the first step and put pen to paper. Write your resolution/goal down. Speak about it wherever you go. Keep visualising that you have achieved it. Review your scoreboard on a weekly basis, it will inspire you to keep the momentum.
Research shows that those who actually make a resolution have higher chances of achieving them. So, shoulders back, chest wide, take a deep breath and march forward towards victory in the coming year!
My goal is to publish my book in 2019.
I’d love to hear yours and see if I can inspire you to achieve victory.
Wish you a Happy and Victorious 2019!