Well, I am sure that many of us sat up the evening of December 31st, 2020, eagerly watching the clock to ensure that in fact the hour did tick over to 12:01 am. This was a year that most people wanted to end in hopes that we could return to some kind of normalcy. Whatever that is.
Along with the New Year comes a time to reflect on the year that has passed. Some of us mourned the loss of vacations in the sun. Some of us mourned the fact that we were now required to wear masks whenever we went out anywhere in public. Some of us mourned the loss of connection with friends and family. Some of us mourned the loss of loved ones without the opportunity to gather together and grieve. My father in law passed on December 22nd, and that loss puts the rest of the losses for the year in perspective.
During this time of reflection we have the opportunity to look back on what it was that we discovered was truly important to us this year. We were begrudgingly given a break from the hub bub of the present world that we live in, and we were forced to look at our lives and what we considered to be important.
The most popular tradition of the New Year is the setting of Resolutions. I myself used to sit down at the end of each year and think about what it was that I wanted to give up for the upcoming year. Most of the time I would say that I wanted to give up Alcohol, or cigarettes (which thankfully I did), or chips or chocolate or the extra 40 lbs that I was carrying around. Sure these were all amazing things to write down, but realistically that's all I did, write them down. Typically within a month, like 90% of the world, I was back to eating the chocolate and chips and had gained another 5 lbs, (after all it was the holiday season so it was to be expected). Resolutions seemed to be just a token act for most people, myself included.
But what about the other 10%? What were they doing that allowed themselves to stick to and achieve the resolutions they set. What I slowly began to learn was missing from my and many others' Resolutions was any Resolve. The 10% of people that actually stuck to their resolutions shared the common trait of not only writing down what they wanted to achieve or give up, but the designed a plan to make it happen.
I recognized that I was one of the 90%. I would set these resolutions with the best of intentions, but with no plans on how to make them work. I didn't do the thing that I really needed to do, and that was to set GOALS!
So this year, I have decided that there will be no more Resolutions, but there will be some goals, and more importantly some plans to go alongside those goals. I have taken what would normally have been my Resolutions for the year and I have broken them down into 12 month, 9 month, 6 month, 3 month, Monthly and Weekly Goals. By doing this a week at a time and sometimes a day at a time, I know that by next year I will have achieved my goals, rather than let them be forgotten like every other years Resolutions.
So if you have set any Resolutions, take a look at them, scrutinize them. What steps are you going to have to do to actually accomplish them?. How can you break them down into small, attainable steps? Who will you recruit to keep you accountable to the Goals that you set. (That I have learned is the key to success) If you need support, don't hesitate to reach out and ask for help. Everyone after the crazy year that we have had is going to need support of some kind.
Maybe, just maybe, we can help each other reach our goals together. That is a Resolution worth sticking to.
Happy New Year to you all.