The time of year between January 1st and Chinese New Year is filled with people looking to reinvent themselves. They envisage a new them with new life goals. In their mind, the transformation will be nothing short of spectacular. By the end of the year, they will be a totally different person. Yet only a handful of people actually achieve these goals and many find themselves making the same resolutions year after year. Part of this comes from an unwillingness to accept that personal growth is part of a slow transformation, and part of it comes from have unrealistic expectations. So this week, we’re looking at ways and means to help you keep the resolutions you make.
The first step is to make your goals realistic and specific. For example, if you aim to get a promotion at work, how do you intend to do this? You need a strategy and a way of assessing how you are progressing towards your goal. List approaches that will bring you closer to your aim and points along the way when you can analyse your own progress. Measuring these factors are vital ways of helping you keep on track and stopping you either giving up or slipping back into old habits. They also allow slight adjustments as you progress rather than having to make huge changes at various points during the year, which are always harder to maintain.
It’s also a good idea to share your goals with friends or family, even if it is just with a few select individuals. Social support is very important and in some instances, having a partner to work on goals with boosts success, for example in the case of exercising more or giving up smoking. However, even with these caveats in place, you must learn to be patient. Progress is rarely linear and you will have setbacks, but you will also have periods of rapid gain if you keep at it. The important thing is maintaining an even strain and reacting as best you can to challenges.
You might also want to ditch your perfectionist approach to self-improvement. An all-or-nothing attitude is much more likely to lead to failure. For example, you might have planned for an hour at the gym, but found that your meeting overran so now you can only manage thirty minutes. Perfectionists would give up at this point and start again tomorrow, which is harder. Those who achieve their resolutions would go for thirty minutes, because something is better than nothing and it keeps you on track for you goal. So, best of luck this New Year, and we hope these slight adjustments of habit will lead to you actually keeping those resolutions this time.
© 晉博教育中心 Brighten Youth Education Centre