The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune.
New Year's Resolutions offer an opportunity for making change and improvement. Chances are that more than 90% of people will fail to achieve their resolutions, with most having abandoned them by the end of January! By knowing what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. Making resolutions at New Year or at other times can be helpful in several ways:
Making resolutions at New Year or at other times can be helpful in several ways:
To decide what is important for you to achieve in your life
To separate what is important from what is irrelevant, or a distraction
To motivate yourself
To build your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals
State each resolution or goal as a positive statement. Be precise – set a precise Resolution, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement:
Set priorities – when you have several Resolutions, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones
Write resolutions down – this crystallises them and gives them more force
Set realistic goals – it is important to set goals that you can achieve All sorts of people (employers, parents, media, society) can set unrealistic goals for you. Alternatively you may set goals that are too high, because you may not appreciate either the obstacles in the way or understand quite how much it might take to achieve the goal.
Reward yourself – as you make progress, remember to reward yourself
If you slip, don’t write off the resolution – slipping is almost bound to happen – if it were that easy, you probably would have sorted it already. Instead, if you slip, try to work out what led to you breaking the Resolution; what could you do differently to stop it happening again? Then, continue with trying to make progress.
Adjust resolutions if appropriate – your resolutions might change as time goes on. Adjust them regularly to reflect growth in your knowledge and experience.