'If not now, when?' asks the Talmud. A timely question given the arrival of the New Year.
A New Year, a new beginning, so goes common thinking. A time of change. People are talking about their resolutions for this year, goals they're setting....from small challenges such as taking the time to acknowledge the things others do for us to the bigger life changes...perhaps making that big career switch or addressing that relationship or family issue.
I always start off the New Year with 'The List'. If someone devised a Top 10 of the most frequently made resolutions, most of them would appear on my list.... the 'lose a little weight', 'eat healthier', 'get fitter'. My intentions are always good, it's in the implementation that I seem to falter. So, another New Year and surprise, surprise, an almost identical list of resolutions.
Still. Very eco-friendly. A recyclable list, right?
This year I've been questioning how I am going to break this impasse? Is it a merely a question of willpower? I acknowledge I am lacking in that department ("pass me that last Lindor ball, will you?").
Why couldn't Santa have brought me a box of Willpower for Christmas?
New Year is often a time for reflection. I know I've been thinking about areas of my life that, to me, are less than ideal and thinking of ways I can improve things. Hence the list, once again fuelled by the heady emotion of the excitement of change, initial commitment and obviously misplaced confidence (given past history). Right now, I'm motivated, I'm on an emotional high. Will that hold out? That kind of energy can be hard to sustain, emotions flucuate, with a subsequent loss of commitment and increasing excuses not to exercise, eat right...well, you catch my drift.
Most people agree that while willpower is a great start, it will only take you so far. What is needed is good, solid planning. If you're serious about achieving your resolutions, try the following strategies:
Choose a realistic goal. No matter how many pictures of Heidi Klum I stick to the fridge, it just isn't going to happen.
Quantify your goal. Make it measurable and observable. Ah? So that's why Bad Santa bought me that nagging pedometer?
Small steps. Breaking down the goal into a number of smaller, easily achievable units can increase a sense of mastery. In my case, let's make that baby steps.
Set a timeline. Essential for a born procrastinator like me. 'Sometime' just doesn't cut it.
Monitor progress. Hmm. For some people, a buddy system works well. Personally, I find self-monitoring safer for the psychological wellbeing of my nearest and dearest. The 'Have you gained a kilo' is not generally spoken by a wise man in this household!
Of course, you can always make your resolutions public on your blog. How's that for accountability?
Note, the absence of my list. ;)