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How to create Realistic Action-Based New Year's Resolutions

How to create Realistic Action-Based New Year's Resolutions

It is easy to make a New Year’s Resolution. Everyone can do that. For example, I can say this year is the year I am going to start my own internet business, or this year is the year that I am going to get out of a job I don’t like, or this year is the year I am going to lose weight. None of that is going to happen if I don't create realistically achievable action-based New Year’s Resolutions, if I don't make the necessary changes in my lifestyle that support those Resolutions, and if I don't make a continuous effort to motivate myself and keep myself motivated.

The following are guidelines for creating and implementing action-based New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Prepare for the New Year’s resolution
2. Create a Passion for Change
3. Identify my own Unique Action-Based New Year’s Resolutions
4. Follow an Action Plan and Regular Routine
5. Stay focused and Report Back on a Daily Basis
6. Reward Myself
7. Create a Maintenance Plan
8. Set New Objectives and Formulate New Resolutions

1. Prepare for the New Year’s Resolution
If one is serious about a New Year’s resolution, one should first prepare for the change that will be necessary to create meaningful New Year’s resolutions. What works for me is to set a regular routine that includes regular time (preferably the same time every day) that will be devoted to formulating the New Year’s resolutions. For example, going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, and spending two hours in the early morning on doing the necessary research and preparation such as motivating myself, trying to figure out exactly what I want in order to formulate meaningful action based resolutions that are uniquely my own.

2. Create a Passion for Change
There has to be a burning passion for change. That would be the jet fuel that ignites the desire for making meaningful changes that would be needed in order to formulate and realize New Year’s resolutions. Without this passion, change is almost impossible. A good way of achieving this is to find your own personal coach. There are tons of coaching materials available in book shops or on the Internet in the form of CDs or DVDs. A good one that works for me is “The Power of Visualization” by Lee Pulos. It is a step by step series of CDs that help you set goals through visualization that are uniquely your own, instead of copies of other people’s goals.

Alternatively you can check out coach Websites and obtain the services of a coach on the Internet. A coach would be well qualified to assist you without being in your way, but of course will cost a lot of money. I personally prefer tapes and CDs. As it suits my lifestyle better. I get to choose my own routine. And I get to swear at the coach without worrying about upsetting him :>)

3. Identify your own Unique Action-Based New Year’s Resolutions
Once you have lined your objectives up in order of priority with assistance of your coach, you are ready to create your own Unique Action-Based New Year’s Resolutions. If the objective on top of your list is for example to lose 20lb, instead of making a static resolution to lose weight, you could create a doable fun and action-based resolution to replace TV and Internet with hobbies that take you outdoors. Such as joining a tennis club, a gym or a rowing club. The resolution could include not to have meals after 6:00 p.m. and to have regular activities lined up after this time that will take your mind completely off eating or sitting on a couch. But it has to be uniquely your own in that it must be something that you really enjoy. If you are not a gym person, you may prefer walking, or swimming, or playing squash or tennis during the week, and over the weekends get out on field trips. Perhaps take up golf, rock climbing, or diving, where you can challenge yourself. This will obviously also take some research, as you would need to know what would work for you, instead of what may work for your friends. It would be essential for you to be completely honest with yourself.

Key is that these resolutions have to be realistic and doable. And action-based.

4. Follow an Action Plan and Regular Routine
Once you have formulated your action-based New Year’s Resolution you have to create an action plan that will get you going. Keep you motivated. And see the resolution through. There also needs to be a maintenance plan, in order to keep up the good work.

For example, in addition to a regular session with your coach every day, for which there has to be a set time slot every day, you need to plan a routine to incorporate the action-based resolutions. The key being that by repeating those actions every day, that it would become a behavior of habit, and stay the course of your New Year’s Resolution. All beginning is usually a bit awkward, but once you are into the fun part of it when you have acquired special abilities to do new hobbies that are fun, there will be a momentum of change happening, that will make the New Year’s resolution fall into place. As of course New Year’s resolutions are only really attainable when we change our lifestyle completely from what it was before. And stick with the change.

5. Stay Focused by Reporting Back on a Daily Basis
It is important that once you are on the road of your New Year’s Resolutions that you stay focused by reporting back on a daily basis. The best way of doing this is to visit the resolutions every day during daily coach sessions at regular times. Perhaps write positive affirmations that are uniquely your own. And repeat them to yourself first thing in the day. Lee Pulos recommends daily meditation early in the morning to get into a relaxed state, which then would make the daily affirmations more easily absorbed. I’m not very good with meditation, so am using a daily Journal instead through a personal online blog Website. This helps me keep track of my objectives, report on progress of the previous day and reaffirm my action for the current day. If your resolution is to lose weight, a good idea would be to keep a daily record of your weight in an Excel Spreadsheet for example to keep track and stay in touch with your progress. There are many other methods of course. If you have a good couch, he/she could assist you with trying out a variety of those. Key is to find one that works best for you. For example, being an action person, you may prefer to go for a run first thing in the morning, and then repeat your affirmations as your are running or walking or swimming. Whatever suits best. Key is to keep those New Year's Resolutions alive as they were the first day when you formulated them with a keen resolve and lots of passion.

6. Reward Yourself
All hard work deserves a reward and to identify the reward at the beginning of your routine can also be an incentive to reach your New Year’s Resolution. For example, if you have taken up diving as a hobby, you could spoil yourself with a diving holiday in the Maldives or Caribbean. It has to be along the theme of your action-based resolution. I.e. an action-based reward. It could also be a hiking or rock-climbing holiday.

7. Create a Maintenance Plan
Once you have reached your New Year’s Resolution, your lifestyle would probably have completely changed. But it would be essential to take none of this for granted, by creating a maintenance plan with your action plan as a base. For example, to maintain your daily coach and personal journal sessions and to ensure that your lifestyle is active as opposed to gradually falling back into the sedentary habits of TV or computer.

8. Set New Objectives and Formulate New Resolutions
Once you have reached your New Year’s Resolution, you still want to challenge yourself. So perhaps now is the time to go through the same process that you have gone through before to set new objectives. Perhaps you have identified during the pursuit of your New Year’s Resolution new objectives that you would like to reach. For example, you would like to take your diving to a new step of Instructor that would involve more intense diving training. Or do more challenging and technical rock climbing or mountaineering. If you took up running, you may want to participate in competitions, etc. So time to set new objectives, formulate new action-based resolutions and start back at Step 1.
This is an entry in the essay competition located at .
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