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The dreaded New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by
13 Jan 2016
I always used to find the idea of New Year’s Resolutions a little bit ridiculous, and also too much pressure to commit to doing something major throughout the year. As I write that I also realise that sounds very silly, but people do make big bold brash statements in the New Year, with the best intentions, that aren’t always followed through. To those that do, I salute you! There are of course stories of people who have dramatically changed their lives over the course of a year, and that is extremely commendable.

For me however, I think that I was looking at resolutions the wrong way, and used to focus on giving up something, which usually didn’t happen.

Instead, I have started to set myself a few targets for the year, which focus more so on experiencing different things, or learning a new skill. Previous year’s resolutions have included:

1. Learning to knit (this is a work in progress, and I think always will be…)
2. Doing five organised runs throughout the year (I managed 4)
3. Spending a weekend in a part of the UK I haven’t previously
4. Learning the words to a really tricky song

Altering my own expectations of a New Year’s Resolution has given me the motivation to try new things, and ended up in me participating in the Great South Run last year, something I would have never ever considered before!!

So onto this year, I have thought long and hard about what I would like to experience and have come up with the below:

1. Watch 10 Robert Redford films that I haven’t seen
2.  Participate in three organised runs
3.  Take a two week holiday from work
4.  Have ski lessons at the Chill Factor
5.  Attend outdoor swimming sessions in Salford Quays during the summer

Now I know that none of the above are going to dramatically change my life, or anyone else’s, but they are things that I think are achievable throughout the year, that are different from my normal life, which will all be new experiences for me, and I am hopeful that I can stick them out!

A leading psychologist, Professor Richard Wiseman, has given a couple of tips as to how we can stay on track with our resolutions:
  • Do not revisit past resolutions as this sets you up for frustration and disappointment. If you are going to return to previous goals, make sure you are approaching them in a completely new way
  • Think through exactly what you will do, where you will do it and specifically the steps you are going to take to achieve it.

What do you typically think about when setting yourself resolutions, if anything at all? Are your targets always a mixture of professional and personal, or solely one or the other?  I would love to hear them in the comments below…
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