2009 has seen its better days-or not! Thank goodness we can look forward to 2010, a clean slate, a new beginning, and a new you.
It sounds cliché but the start of a new year truly is a new start. There are millions of New Year’s resolutions being made as we speak. Unfortunately, 95% of those will not make it to June or will not be followed through upon. How can we make this year different? How can we keep our resolutions and help our lives as well as improve our families?
There is a wonderful article written by Lesley Alderman for the January 2010 issue of REAL SIMPLE magazine titled “Nine Secrets of Motivated People.” Here are her nine points for a better you for 2010 as well as my own interpretations of her list:
1. When you make a plan, anticipate bumps. Peter Gollwitzer, professor of psychology at New York University says that people who plan for obstacles are more likely to stick with projects than those who don’t. When you are aware of all of the “what if’s” of a project then you can come up with ways to work through them should they occur. This way you have a plan to stay on task.
2. Channel that little engine that could – really. A person’s drive is often based on what she believes about her abilities, not on how objectively talented she is according to research by Albert Bandura, a professor of psychology at Stanford. You must first believe in yourself before anyone else will believe in you. Push yourself and love the person you are.
3. Don’t let your goals run wild. This means that you should set expectations and goals for yourself in order to achieve what you set out to do in life. At the same time keep them in perspective. If you have 100 pounds to lose don’t expect to lose all 100 in a month or even two. Set mini goals for yourself and make sure to reward yourself when you attain that next step.
4. Go public with it. Don’t keep your goals or resolutions to yourself. Tell a close friend or family member so you have a support system. Things go much smoother and much easier when you have support and some accountability to what you want to achieve.
5. Lean on a support crew when you’re struggling. Enlist people in your life who you feel want you to succeed and will keep you motivated. Choose people who may have seen you fail in the past and who know how much success means to you, says Edward L. Deci, professor of psychology at University of Rochester.
6. Make yourself a priority. Lesley Alderman states that you will derail your progress if you sacrifice yourself for others in order to please them. Only you can take care of you and only you know what you need. That’s a lot of you’s and it may feel selfish but we must take care of ourselves before we are capable of taking care of anyone else.
7. Challenge yourself and change things up. This especially applies to anyone trying to lose weight or striving for a healthy lifestyle. Doing the same exercise routine can become monotonous or eating the same thing for lunch everyday becomes so boring. As time goes on you will eventually get frustrated and throw that salad or treadmill out the window. Do yourself a favor and research fun ways to exercise and look up new recipes online to spice things up. This way you’re always learning and that helps build new excitement around your new life.
8. Keep on learning. To refuel your efforts, focus on enjoying the process of getting to the goal, rather than just eyeing the finish line, says Lesley Alderman. Take pride in researching or going back to school to reach a new career goal. Take classes or go to events for the things you are passionate about just for fun. You will enjoy learning about things you love even if it isn’t about making a career out of it. It’s all about expanding your mind and your life and learning something new never gets dull.
9. Remember the deeper meaning. Edward L. Deci says it best when he says “You’re more likely to realize a goal when it has true personal significance to you” Enough said.
The more information and support you are armed with the better equipped you are to face the world and also stay true to who you are.