“We all wish to change our lives but only a few of us are willing to do what it takes to change.”
Research suggests that more than 90 per cent of the New Year resolutions are broken within the first week itself and another 5 per cent during the first month.
Change is the only thing constant in this world and it comes in two forms. We either progress towards what we want or regress into what we are comfortable with. There is no status quo in life. As an author, counsellor and a speaker, I have seen so many people attempting to change and failing miserably and then eventually getting back into their old ways of living. It seems as if change has become a secret recipe that only a few lucky people have access to. Nothing could be further from truth. Making any change permanent is a matter of decision and discipline.
How to keep your resolutions? Do you want to change any of the following areas of your life in this New Year – heath, relationships, finances or knowledge? Try the following recipe:
1. Clarity: Start by getting clarity on your resolution. Do not simply say that you want to lose weight, get rich or be happy. You need more clarity. Use the question – how much and by when? You need to lose how much weight and by when? You need how much money and by when? You need to make how many friends and by when? What gets measured gets accomplished. If you do not know what you want, you will never know how to get it.
2. Commitment: Once what you want is clear cement your resolution with why you want it. Write down your resolution on a piece of paper and then write down reasons why you will stay committed to your goals. It is your emotions that act as a fuel and give you energy to achieve your resolution. If you are not committed then you will go weak in the knees at the sight of first temptation. Burn your resolutions in your consciousness by writing them every day on a piece of paper. Also write down what actions you will undertake to achieve your resolution.
3. Company: We all are a product of the company we keep or fail to keep. Choose your companions and friends wisely because they influence you more than anything. It is impossible to stay healthy if your best friends have unhealthy habits. It is impossible to stay rich, if your best friends splurge more than they earn. Surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to accomplish this year. I remember when I began writing my first book, I started networking with authors and visiting book-launches and book fairs. People were very helpful and I learned a lot by merely observing them at such places. Is there anyone in your network who can act as your coach to help in accomplishing your resolution?
4. Character: Your character gives you the courage to continue and the resilience to bounce back. Will you go to the gym after missing the morning alarm for two to three days at a stretch? Will you still believe in your ideas after getting a few rejections? Your ‘character’ is who you really are when no one is watching. Keep yourself motivated and inspired by reading the right books and self-discipline. You can keep the excuses or you can get the results. It is your character that keeps you going when things are not working out the way you want them to. Take feedback and never repeat the same mistake.
5. Competence: You are just two to three skills away from becoming the person you wish to become. Success is a matter of character and competence. God loves character but market rewards competence. People pay you money for the skills you bring to the table. What are the core skills you need to learn to achieve your resolution? Discipline and skills are developed patiently. Do not quit if you fail to wake up on time. While others are complaining about the lack of opportunity, you should be busy in developing your competencies.
6. Complete: Keep trying till you get what you want. Finish what you start. Every time you fulfil a promise that you made to yourself, your subconscious stores the event as a success template. More mental energy is consumed by pending tasks than what it takes to actually complete the same tasks. Be a finisher. If you complete every 100m race you participate in, it will not take very long before you will be completing marathons. Celebrate small victories for they contain the seeds of bigger victories. As long as it does not kill you physically, make a commitment to complete everything you start.
I also know a lot of people who do not make new resolutions because they are afraid to break them. Remember, the only failure is the failure to try. Start will small resolutions, but make sure you work hard to accomplish them. Resolutions are not important for what you will get. They are important for what they will make of you.
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