Friday, January 1, 2016

How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Realities

First, I want to apologize to my readers for not publishing as much lately. I have been caught up with school, work, finals, etc. But, I am a man on a mission who does not make excuses, and one of my resolutions for this upcoming year is to publish at least once per week, so I am starting that this week.

Second, I want to wish all of my readers a happy and prosperous new year. Perhaps the year 2015 was among the best years of your life, perhaps it was in the middle, or it may have been the case for you that 2015 was a year that you wish had never occurred. Or a mixture of the three. Whatever the case may be, 2015 is over. Look back on the year and remember the embers of the year, but do not wallow in the ashes. As one of the prostitutes in the classical film Forrest Gump put it "You get to start all over. Everyone gets a second chance." That is true for everyone in 2016.

Common to this time of year is to come up with a list of things that you wish to change in the upcoming year, commonly called "New Year's Resolutions." While people may mock them due to the fact that it is highly likely that many of the courses of action will be abandoned within a matter of days, the fact that many people make them is a sign that people have enough of a perspective to know that their life is not perfect and there are ways that they can improve it, even if only slightly. So, if you are among the many who made a list of resolutions, congratulations. Now lets find a way to find make those resolutions realities.

First and foremost, write the list down and have it recorded as a point of reference. A list is of no use if you cannot remember where the list is. This will also make the job of making the resolution a reality by seeing it and thinking about it. It may also bring about discouragement if the list is not being fulfilled as quickly as you might have hoped. That is fine; discouragement can become an encouragement if you let it. Have the list posted in at least three places so you can see it and remember it from today until December 31, 2016.

Second, remember that these resolutions are called "New Years' Resolutions" and not "Today's Resolutions." Many people make goals that require time and patience (an example would be losing weight), and that means an understanding that what you want to accomplish will take time, probably longer than you originally planned. As these are New Year's Resolutions, you have the entirety of the year to make them realities. Remember that as you look upon your list; you do have time to make it a reality. Don't quit just because at the end of this week everything has not happened. Change takes time; meaningful change takes even longer. If the resolution was worth writing down, it is worth seeing through until the end.

Third, have an accountability partner whom you share your list with and whom will check in occasionally (perhaps once a month) to see how you are doing. Change is hard, but it is even harder to do alone. Don't make it harder on yourself when it is not necessary; you have enough challenges in life to deal with on your own. Find yourself someone you trust and someone who will push you when necessary. This may be uncomfortable at times, but when December 31, 2016 comes around and your resolutions have become realities you will be ever thankful that this person stuck with you and you stuck by your resolutions.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, do not be afraid to make adjustments. As any fan of sports (especially college football) knows, adjustments are what separate good teams from great teams. Perhaps you made a resolution that is not reasonable or doable in the time that is allotted. That is fine, it shows discernment to be able to understand that you need to change plans in order to achieve them all. If this is the case, cross out the resolution which is not achievable and replace it with a more attainable one. Make sure to report this to the person to whom you are accountable as well so that they know that a change has occurred. A word of caution however, do not take this to mean that you should simply make easy goals for the new year. What is meant is that you should burden yourself with many goals the size of Mount Everest. Make some resolutions that are simple that can be implemented today, some that may take a month to get in the hang of, and some that are perhaps life-time commitments. Ask your accountability partner if your list is attainable for you, and if not then simplify it.

To close, I am letting all my readers know what my resolutions are. I attempted all the above suggestions in making a list, so lets hope that by December 31, 2016 they are all realities. Here is my list: 1) Arise at 6:30 AM each day 2) Limit myself to one hour of Netflix/Video Games to one hour per day (unless it is a date) 3) Read one book per week (if over 350 pages 2 weeks) and write a review of the book on Amazon and on the blog 4) Write a blog post once per week 5) Read 12 pages of scripture per day 6) Save half of my paycheck (after tithing) 7) Write in my journal each day 8) Go on a date each week 9) Donate plasma twice per week 10) Attend the temple weekly

Some of these adjustments have already been implemented, others will take longer to implement. But I am confident all will become realities by the end of the year. Just a final reminder: 1. Write the list down 2. Be patient and remember you have the full year to implement the changes 3) Have a accountability partner 4) Make adjustments when necessary.

Have a happy new year.

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