It’s that time of year again when we think about the changes we’d like to make in the New Year to come. What does 2017 hold in store for you? For the most part, that’s up to you.
While setbacks, difficulties and life storms are inevitable, the one thing we can do in making better lives for ourselves is to improve who and what we are. After all that’s what most New Year resolutions focus upon. Traditionally, some of the most popular resolutions over the past two decades have included things such as: weight loss, getting in better physical condition, or improving our financial situation.
For 2017 I have 6 resolutions which all flow from the same word:
I hope to cultivate more knowledge within myself.
I hope to cultivate new lasting & mutually beneficial relationships.
I want to cultivate new muscle growth in my body.
I hope to cultivate the seeds of faith in others.
I hope to cultivate a love for healthy lifestyles in all my friends and in everyone I meet.
I want to cultivate a closer relationship with the Lord than ever before.
Here are Nielsen’s stats from 2015 in % of persons polled & their resolutions.
|Stay fit and healthy||37%|
|Enjoy life to the fullest||28%|
|Spend less, save more||25%|
|Spend more time with family and friends||19%|
|Will not make any resolutions||16%|
|Learn something new/new hobby||14%|
It appears that as a populous we’re already aware of several things that can improve our quality of life. And yet, every one of these resolutions needs a good plan on how to go about making it happen. Let’s dig into our brains for a bit and see if we can delineate the steps we will need to take in order to implement a positive change. So let’s just look at the first popular resolution listed, and then we can apply the same principles to any New Year Resolution.
There are many questions we can ask ourselves to give us the best chance of succeeding. The first is rather obvious: Why do I want this change? Deciding why will help us to envision the answer to our second question: If this improvement comes to pass, what is it going to look like? (Envision it) And a good question for number three is: How will it affect others? Or, can this benefit other people as well as myself?
Don’t forget, if we are going to be successful we need to set some goals, and in doing so we remember all the things that did not work in the past. Then we brainstorm to come up with new and innovative methods that will work for us as individuals, taking into account how well we know ourselves, our proclivities and our idiosyncrasies.
For instance, in 2017 as I do my best to get into better physical condition, past experience has taught me that I will be more successful if I have a partner to constantly challenge me and keep me doing more. That’s something I need, and so I’ve set to work searching for someone else with the same resolution to partner with. Finding the right person is a smaller goal to help me reach my bigger goal of becoming more fit than ever before. Another thing I’ve learned is to set a time each day when I will do my exercises and stick as closely as I can to that schedule. That’s another small step or goal towards the big one.
Using our example let’s look at some other questions to give us ideas on the types of questions you may want to ask yourself concerning whatever your resolution happens to be.
How will my diet change? Do I have a plan for that?
How can I educate myself with the nutritional knowledge I don’t yet have?
Have I been maintaining a good circadian rhythm in my wake/sleep cycles? Past experience has taught me the profound role that sleep patterns have upon overall health, appetite, energy levels and metabolism.
Yes, you already know what needs to be done in order to bring your resolution to successful perpetuation. Only now, you’ve begun to think about the things that are important if you are to actually make it happen.