Year 2013 is less than 24 hours away. January is always a good month for making changes. More people start changing for the better in early January than at any other time of the year. Many even put off giving up a bad habit until New Year’s Day! Making a positive step or two in the right direction is a wonderful way to ring in the New Year.
How great if you could just pick a day, and give up a habit which you may have struggled with for months, or even years. Some of us are fortunate enough to have our resolutions develop into lasting change.
Let’s make some great resolutions for 2013 and plan to make them work.
DECIDE & START
Action precedes motivation, not the other way around. People often think that they should wait until they are motivated to start doing something good for themselves. They’ll say, ‘I’ll start that diet or fitness programme when I’m really well rested and have a lot of energy.’
But it doesn’t work that way. Instead of waiting for inspiration, you need to take action first. Your initial action doesn’t have to be anything big. Just by putting on your sneakers and walking for 10 minutes, you will make that energy you are ‘waiting’ for to materialise.
Once you initiate an action – the smallest of actions – you pick up momentum and it will be a lot easier to keep moving forward.
CREATE A GAME PLAN
Come tomorrow, write a comprehensive plan. Most successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifies on how they will achieve it.
SHARE YOUR GOALS
Tell someone you trust about your resolutions and ask for their support. It helps to share your goals with friends who can gently steer you in the right direction.
GIVE THEM MEANING
Your goal should be something you really desire to change or achieve, not something that society or your family says is good for you. If you don’t have a strong personal desire, you are less likely to be successful.
TAKE SMALL STEPS
Set realistic goals that are attainable, and then take small steps that are likely to succeed. Don’t decide that you must lose 10 pounds in a week or that you have to quit smoking cold turkey without help. Instead, try joining a weight-loss programme and try to lose a pound or two a week, or seek professional help with smoking cessation.
USE YOUR SPIRITUALITY
It is important to add a spiritual dimension to your goals. This involves recognising the availability of a ‘higher power’ that can strengthen and support us in our efforts. This is the first step in the highly successful 12-Step programmes used to overcome addictions. Identify a spiritual support system that works for you and tap into it. Prayer, faith and affirmations are powerful tools.
LAPSES ARE NOT FAILURES
A major reason for unsuccessful resolutions is the way we deal with slips. Slips and lapses are not failures. They are opportunities to learn. If you have elected to give up a habit and have a lapse, view it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
MAKE HEALTHY RESOLUTIONS
CONQUER THE BULGE: The World Health Organisation has described obesity as the world’s major epidemic. With more than 60 per cent of adult population being overweight or obese, it is not surprising that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.
GET FIT: The medical proof for fitness is everywhere. Regular exercise is now associated with more health benefits than any time in history. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.
SPEND MORE TIME with family and friends: Recent polls in the United States show that more than 50 per cent of people vow to appreciate loved ones more and to spend more time with family and friends in the coming year. I believe that a renewed commitment to the family and the community could nip crime in the bud.
QUIT SMOKING: Make this the year that you decide to stamp out your smoking habit. It is the leading preventable cause of premature death. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good.
STOP DRINKING ALCOHOL: While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they have group support. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available. Alcoholics Anonymous offers meetings around the world.
FIND FINANCIAL FREEDOM – GET OUT OF DEBT: Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the host of people who have resolved to spend this coming year getting a handle on their finances. My team offers monthly success training seminars that teach a simple plan to financial success.
HELP OTHERS: Charity, a great unselfish New Year’s resolution, can take many forms. You can choose to spend time mentoring a child, or visiting a home for the elderly. For things to change, you and I have to change.” Let’s make some changes for 2013!