Why bother with the new (financial) year’s resolutions?
There’s lots on why new year’s resolutions don’t work in general. People are too ambitious. Too general. People don’t really want what they say they want, or don’t want to put the work in. You name it, there is a lot of bad press on why they don’t work.
Let’s look at what a resolution is.
The dictionary defines it as a “firm decision to do or not do something.” I like that. It speaks of thoughtfulness and resolve. That is, you take the time to think about things and then make a firm decision one way or another.
There is something about taking some time on a regular basis to audit where you are in your life. To look at whether there are any adjustments that you need to make. If that “audit” looks like “resolutions” in the form of doing more of something or less of it, or something completely different, then that is a good thing. The key I think is actually thinking about it – so some conscious thought, and then some clear decisions.
How to make your new (financial) year’s resolutions work for you
Some tips for making the most of your new financial year’s resolutions
- Remember it’s the journey that counts not the destination. So many people have finally reached their “goal” and felt a sense of disappointment because the whole focus has been on achieving the goal rather than enjoying the journey to get there. So, as an example – if your goal is to finish your degree, remember that learning is a life time pursuit – and enjoy the steps (as much as possible) and the learning to get to that goal. Sure, each unit successfully completed is a step closer but what have you learnt in that unit – and how is that changing the way that you work/live etc?
- Remember change is hard. So, think about whether you really want the change. And why. And whether you are prepared to do the work/make the changes to make it happen. And if you really want it, but know there are some blockers in the way, what can you do address those so that you are setting yourself up for success rather than failure? For example – if you want to get fit, think about what is stopping you at present. Make the little changes to address those blockers, like organise to go for a walk with a friend rather than on your own, put your gym clothes next to your bed the night before. These are all oft quoted suggestions for a reason, and that is because they work!
- Make your changes aspirational but achievable. You can do this by chunking it down. Sticking with the fitness example. If your ultimate goal is to run a marathon, you might start with being able to run 5kms without stopping. Perhaps that is your goal for the next six months, and then after that to be able to compete in 10km fun runs, and then by end of 2017 to run your first half marathon.. And so on.
- Remember the goals are your goals and you can change them at any time. If a goal isn’t serving you or if it’s really not ever going to happen, reevaluate whether it should be on your list. Is being on your list just making you feel bad? Or is there a blocker you really need to address? Perhaps you realise after running your first half marathon that the training you need to do isn’t compatible with your current work and family commitments, and you decide to stick with running monthly 10km fun runs, with a view to reevaluating the goal again in a year or so.
- Remember the definition. Make a firm decision to do something (or not). It’s rare that we achieve a goal without some specific thought and a plan of some sort on how to get there.. SMART goal setting can help too (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound). That is – I want to run 5kms by the end of August, then be able to run 5kms in under 30 minutes by the end of December etc…
So, what’s your plan for the new financial year? What do you want to achieve? I have some very specific goals for the next six months, so I will report back on whether they were achieved in six months time. Feel free to list your resolutions here if it will help you be more accountable.
Until next time. Happy leading,