Could we stare the American Dream to “have it all” in the face and say “not so fast?” Do we shoot for working on everything and then wind up with nothing? Instead of a dozen good intentions, focus on one or two resolutions.
Think about broad life goal areas (spiritual, relationship, career, community service, financial, social, personal, and health). What goal areas are your highest priority? Create one or two resolutions from these. Stop at only one or two so you can remember them, focus on them, and get them done. Stop repeating the same well-intentioned resolutions year after year.
Carefully design your resolutions: Make them specific, measurable, and doable. If I resolve to lose weight or spend more time on personal development, I have to be clear about how it will happen. Better resolutions might be: I will lose fifteen pounds by May 1st, and I will take two personal retreats this year. Clear goals are easier to track, measure, and achieve.
Finally, make resolutions that excite you! If you aren’t thrilled to accomplish these resolutions, what’s the point? If you merely pick resolutions from your “should do” list or use items that society’s expectations have foisted onto you, how far will you get? Where is your passion? Don’t you feel more fulfilled when you spend time working on what you really love?
If a resolution isn’t intrinsically motivating, consider creating an exciting reward for yourself for achieving it. Withhold the treat until you achieve your resolution. Put time and thought into your reward so it is truly special for you, not something you already periodically enjoy. Make the resolution, the reward, or both a passion for you.
If New Year’s resolutions are simple—limited to one or two, clearly defined, and personally exciting, we have a better shot at making them finally happen. When we get them done, we can pick something new for next year!