The last days of December can be very meaningful as they represents the end of a year and the start of a new one, an opportunity to reflect upon the things we have done and a time to start things over or new things. It comes natural to think about what we have done and of what we would like to do next, but just thinking isn`t helping. To remember some things is not relevant enough to a measure it – we have to write it down and analyze it. To want something is not enough to achieve it – we have to take some steps and work for it.
There are two constructive things that one can do in order to start the new year properly. The very first thing we should is write a report of what we have done and have achieved during the past year. And the next thing would be to write down a resolution for the new year. It is important to write down and analyze these things because like this we become aware of what we did good and bad. It is also easier to see why we failed, understand the situations we have encountered and see what we can avoid next year.
Our human nature tends to first see the bad side of the situations because they affect us emotionally more and usually at the end of the year we first remember what didn`t go very well, what we forgot to do, where we failed and so on. Writing a report of what we achieved, even the most little things and battles, will motivate and help the future us.
If you don`t know where to start in writing your year evaluation, here are five questions that can lead you. Our tendency is to think in terms of job accomplishments and money, but I encourage you to answer these questions thinking of what you did on a personal level. In the end we are not our job, but the everyday little things we do.
1. What did I learn this year?
2.Which are my accomplishments?
3.What did I do that I am most proud of and why?
4.What did I fail to do this year?
5.What are my overall feelings about this year?
Now that we saw what we did during the past year, the next step is to think about what we would like to do during the next one and how we would like it to be. It is a pretty common to set a resolution, but the studies have shown that more than a half of them fail completely. Why is that so? Do people change their minds about what they want or is there something else? Many resolutions fail because of three basic reasons: we create them based on what society tells us to change, the goals are too ambiguous and we don`t organize ourselves and do a plan to achieve them. Only one of these reasons is enough to lead to failure, but they can be all at a time.
When we set our goals we have to be reasonable and think whether we are about set out something that`s doable or not. And not only something that is doable, but something that is meaningful to us also. Mass and social media promote certain values, such as doing sports, have a healthy lifestyle, etc. and we adopt these things, put them on out to do lists, but fail at doing them because we don`t have an inner desire to achieve them, they were not our ideas and thus they are not important for us.
To keep a resolution, even when we`ve got a very well planned journey ahead, is not easy. Change is hard and we can often be too tired to stick to the plan. There will be days when we will fail, but the last thing to do is feel discouraged and give up. We should understand that it is something normal to happen because we have in our lives other important things to do than the resolution.
What can help us in sticking to our resolutions are two very important things: a plan with small clear steps and a community. It is always easier to do something when we know what we have to do. Moreover, if we fail to stick to it for a while, when we get back, it is easier to just do a small step first and concentrate to our goal in phases, avoid to be scared that we have to a long way. A community of people that do the same things we want to do can be extremely helpful – you can share struggles and encourage one another. The good thing is that you don`t have to put much effort into it because it can also be just an online community.
If you want to read more about how you can set your goals and achieve them, The New York Times has published also a very good and practical article on the New Year`s Resolution – you can find it here.