Owen here! Today I want to chat with you about New Year’s resolutions.
Resolutions are popular to make and popular to break. I’ve had luck keeping mine the past few years, so I’d like to pass on what’s worked for me.
1. Choose one major theme, and have the rest be, “I’ll try fixing this when I can.”
Making a change is hard. Making a lot of different ones is much worse. I find that if I choose a category of things to fix, the things I do to succeed at one thing will help me work on the other resolutions. And by the next year, my new habits will be entrenched, so I don’t have to worry about them when embarking on yet more changes.
So if you want to get more exercise, do more sculpting, keep the house clean, start gardening, go see all the historical sites in your city, give up your favorite drinks, etc – Sit down and decide which is the most important one to do first, or which is the most exciting. Make most of the resolutions about that one thing, and then slack off on the rest.
2. With every goal, write down the motivation behind it.
I find the biggest resolution killer is that specific goals become quickly outdated or were too ambitious to start with. Going from “I’m gonna paint every so often” to “I’m going to paint from 3 PM to 5 PM every single day without fail” requires a big shift – and as you try to meet that goal, you’re likely to discover some long-term problems that need fixing before you can actually accomplish that. You may even discover that the changes you would have to make just won’t be feasible for you.
If you firmly understand the reasoning behind your goal, you can then alter the goal without losing it entirely. For instance, if you just couldn’t get yourself to actually sit down and work every day, you might consider a smaller goal of three times a week. Try that for a bit, and if it doesn’t work, revisit the motivation behind the goal and try something else.
3. Set a check-in schedule
Once you know what you’re trying to do, set aside time regularly to check in with your goals. Write up what’s worked, what hasn’t, and how you feel about your resolutions. Alter your goals as needed.
4. Make a plan
Now that you know what you’re going to try to do, make a plan for each of your goals. Brainstorm what you think you’ll need to do in order to accomplish these goals. Plot out when you want to reach certain milestones by. Keep these on hand for when you check in with your goals.
5. Enjoy your failures.
If you are assessing it honestly, failure is great. It shows you the flaws in your plans, and where mistakes are being made. It is also proof that you’re actually trying.
Collect enough failures, and you’ll figure out what you’re doing.
Good luck, and Happy New Year, from Owen and Tod at The Storydragon!