new_years_calenderOne thing I’ve learnt over the years is the fact that very few people who set New Year’s resolutions actually ever follow through with them for more than a few weeks. For me, I don’t believe the setting of New Year’s resolutions is an effective way to invoke change.

…And now that I’ve started with such a doom-and-gloom approach to what you thought was going to be a great year, let me put your mind at ease and explain that just by stopping and thinking about proactive changes you may want to make in the New Year, you’re already a long way ahead of many others.

The challenge that I find in why New Year’s resolutions are so easy to make, and so much more easily broken, is due to the fact that most people make them as a spur of the moment decision without much thought. Often, it is a situational decision made by a passing comment that sparks something deep inside yourself, to which you reply with what you feel at the time is a well-thought out and definite goal for your New Year.

I have a much better approach and it has a much higher success rate of working.

Spend some time alone and make sure you firstly look back before you try to look forward. Review the year that was and make notes – all of the positive things you can remember, the big ticket items and then also ensure you look at the obvious challenges that you also negotiated. This is the first step to truly understanding what you are happy about, the successes that made you smile and also the challenges and disappointments that you want to avoid in the future.

Ensuring these are written down in whatever format works best for yourself, gives you a clear thought process as to the direction you may wish to take. Using this strategy also makes you more accountable and aware of your decisions and repercussions from the previous year and has you in a much more aligned mindset with what you truly want in the coming 12 months.

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I find it best if everyone looks at the rearview mirror of the previous 12 months as a guide to the layout of your next 12-month plan. Often, things that were most disappointing or that spring first to mind that weren’t achieved in the previous year are some of the projects or tasks that you are most passionate about and feel the strongest for. My question is, rather than making a throwaway comment about a New Year’s resolution often based on a situational and environmental non-moment of clarity, having the sharpness and transparency of your inner thoughts as to what you were happy and not so happy about achieving in the previous year will always align you with a more strategic direction towards your long-term aspirations and dreams.

This process is a very in-depth one and it is a lot more involved than the steps I have outlined here but the reality is, if you were to follow this idea and strategy above regarding firstly utilising a rearview mirror approach to the previous year and then secondly aligning yourself with your inner feelings as to what you wish to achieve, then the outcome will always be a much more logical thought-out process. And with this process will naturally become at least one clear outlined goal which you could publicise as your New Year’s resolution, if you are so inclined. The beauty in this type of declaration is it is a thought-out, rational and structured process towards your upcoming year goals.