How many years have gone by with your New Year's Resolutions unfulfilled? Do you even bother setting them anymore?
I gave them up, too, at least I did until I learned what I was doing wrong - and how to fix it. Here are 7 mistakes you might be making and how to fix them:
1. Not Knowing What Resolutions Will Make You Happy
How often have you make this mistake: You choose what you SHOULD do instead of what you WANT to do.
You know you should lose weight, get fit, sleep more, or spend more time with friends and family. Maybe you even want to do some of these things, at least a little, but what really would make you happy?
Why not find out? Right now, before you set your New Year's Resolutions, spend 30 minutes and get your Happiness Plan. The link gives you free access to this great tool.
Once you have your top 5 Happiness Essentials, pick one or two to set as your New Year's Resolutions.
2. Not Setting Specific Techniques to Follow Your Resolutions
Simply picking a New Year's Resolution, say improving your relationship with your children, or increasing your chances to express your creativity, isn't enough.
You have to be specific about HOW you will follow that Resolution.
Start by spending January just reading and researching to select specific tactics you will use to achieve your goals.
If you used the Happiness Planner, follow the included Expert Links that help get you started in discovering the best ways you can work on your Resolutions.
3. Assuming Following Your Resolutions Will Be Easy
How often have you tried to follow your Resolutions but lost hope soon afterwards?
It doesn't have to be that way if you start with the right mindset.
Imagine each of your Resolutions as if your were about to take a college course in that subject. You're going to need to study, read, and learn. After that you're going to put what you learned into practice.
At first, you won't be very good at your new skill but practice makes perfect. If you keep it up, it'll become easy over the long term.
4. Choosing Too Many New Year's Resolutions
How many Resolutions were on your list last year?
If you answered anything over three, it's probably way too many.
Try just picking one you really care about, then focus your attention on that one alone. If you get it under control, you can pick a second, and then, if you are amazingly successful so far, maybe even a third Resolution before the year is out.
Don't dilute your concentration. Making changes in your life is hard. Keep it simple.
5. Choosing Too Large A Resolution
Biting off more that we can chew is a common New Year's Resolution problem.
Have you set huge goals like: I want to get healthy this year, or I will find the perfect partner and marry them?
It's too much. Break your goals down into bite sized pieces. Pick one or two aspects of your health you want to work on and do those well, or focus on figuring out where people you might like hang out and start spending time there to meet the man or woman of your dreams.
6. Not Giving Yourself Enough Time
Have you already given up on your Resolutions by February? Some people don't even make it past the middle of January.
Be patient. Big changes, and anything you set for a year-long goal is big, happen slowly and with deliberate, steady action.
Set modest goals, perhaps just to research specific tactics in January, read about those tactics in February, do a 30 day trial in March. Then evaluate and continue or try another tactic until you find something that works for you.
7. Failing To Habituate Your Changes
Have you tried something you think might be good but gave up after a few days or a couple of weeks?
It's really hard to make changes in your life, especially when the initial results seem so small compared to your overall goals.
Next time, make a firm commitment to yourself to reliably follow your tactic for 30 days.
Plan and set aside the time you need. Get support from your family. Make it your top priority. And do it.
After 30 days you'll either have grown accustomed to it (made it a habit) or decided it isn't exactly right for you. You will know more about it and be able to continue on that path, make some changes, or choose another tactic from a position of greater knowledge.
Wishing you a truly happy new year,
P.S. I'm now writing mainly over at HappinessInternational.org where I help you discover your personal path to happiness. I hope, if you are interested in becoming happier, you will drop by and check it out.
P.P.S. You did go get your free Happiness Plan, right?