At this time of year we all tend to think about New Year’s resolutions even if our choice is not to make any! We are often put off by the fact that we have failed to maintain them in the past, and therefore want to avoid ‘failing’ again.
What if we were to approach it in a different way? After all, it is a natural inclination in human beings to want to be continually improving ourselves, so the principle is a good one – perhaps we just need a more effective way of achieving it.
My proposal is this.
Start by imagining that you are at the end of the year, and feeling good about yourself.
Now answer the following questions:
- What have you continued to do well this year?
(Examples might be: give myself regular treats; spent good time with the children; done my job well; had exciting holidays)
- What have you done even better this year?
(Examples might be: gone home at a reasonable hour more often; gone for a walk at lunchtime more often; paid real attention to family and colleagues more often)
- What have you started to do better this year?
(Examples might be: begun to get fitter; eaten more healthily; kept my work in perspective more)
- What have you learned more about this year?
(Examples might be: how to use my common sense at work; how to be a good father; how a different culture works)
- What helped you to achieve these things this year?
(Examples might be: putting the list on the side of my computer to remind me; keeping my targets achievable; getting support from friends/colleagues/family)
Try this out – and make it fun!