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Monday, 1 January 2018

How to set New Year’s resolutions that you will actually achieve.

How to set New Year’s resolutions that you will actually achieve.

Get the maximum out of your 2018 School Year.


Thinking about the New Year ahead is an exciting time for everyone.  Every person wants to better themselves in some way – after all, we are only human, regardless of admitting our flaws to others.  During the holidays we have regained our strength and feel driven to become a better version of ourselves and achieve our dreams.  For some reason the first of January is considered the perfect opportunity to begin this quest to pursue our ‘best selves’.  This means letting go of our past and things that hold us back, as well as setting new goals. 

Although setting goals are very important for a successful life, the truth is only 8% of people that make New Year’s resolutions succeed at achieving it.  By February 80% of people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions and have fallen back to the bad habits of their former self.

Is change really that hard to make?  Is there some way we can become that 8%?  How can we remain persistent in achieving our goals? 

Research shows the following methods will improve your chances of keeping true to your New Year’s resolutions.

The key to success is to properly defining your goals.
The first step, before you can begin with your journey to become your best self is to set very specific goals.  You won’t achieve anything if you do not know what you are setting out to accomplish.  If you do not have a specific endpoint you will easily lose focus along your journey and stray from your course. 

What do you want to achieve?  Write your goals down, in explicit detail.  Write down by when you want to achieve them and how you are going do it.  Think of all of the possible ‘best versions of yourself’.  Even if some ideas seem over ambitious and make you afraid of failing. 

After you have finalised and defined your goals, write it out neatly or type it out.  Print three (3) copies.  Place one copy next to the mirror you look at in the morning, one next to your bed and one next to the door you walk through the most.  Why is this important?  It takes approximately 21 interactions to form a habit.  If you look at your New Year’s goals 3 times a day for 21 days in a row, your brain will start to make a very strong connection with these goals.  Deep in your subconscious it will be rooted and without even actively thinking about it your mind will begin to plan strategies, resolve problems and finding creative ways to pursue your dreams and make it a reality.  The next time when you consciously think about your goals and the obstacles to overcome, it will be as if you have all of the answers. 

Don’t tell people your goals.
Many people will say that you should share your goals with family and friends.  Do not do this.  When you tell people your goals your brain has a moment of instant gratification.  By telling people what you have set out to achieve, it has the same euphoric effect on the brain as actually achieving it.  So every time you tell someone your goal, your brain gets the same satisfaction as “achieving” something.  Your drive to actually pursue your dream becomes very low and you most likely won’t achieve that goal.  However, you can choose one person, and only one, in whom you can confine and tell your goals and dreams to.  Don’t make this person a friend or someone that isn’t also very determined to achieve their goals.  They will allow you to slack off, since they don’t keep up their pace.  Make this person someone you respect and trust.  Someone with authority that also cares about you, like a parent or mentor.  They can keep you motivated and hold you accountable to reach your goals.  But remember, only you can achieve your goals.  You have to put in the effort.  You are the only one that can make your dreams come true.  You cannot sit around, not doing anything and expect results. 

Break up big dreams into smaller goals.
Completing your school education is just part of a much larger dream every child has.  Perhaps you already know what you want to do one day for your profession or perhaps not yet.  It is important to keep in mind that everything you do now does fit into a larger plan.  You will have to get excellent marks in school in order to be able to get admission to study at the university.  If your dream is to become a doctor or veterinarian and you are passionate about saving lives, you might already be interested in biology and science, but unfortunately you cannot avoid taking maths.  Even if you don’t particularly like it, you will have to work hard at it.  Visionary architects have to design their mega structures according to the laws of physics and science.  Aerospace engineers sometimes have to get their minds out of space and work on an economic budget.  Do you prefer the rugby field over accountancy and would much rather become a sports hero than doing an office job?  Then by all means exercise daily and perfect the necessary skills, but remember that doing sport is only half of the equation.  You cannot compete professionally if you are in your 50’s.  You will have to understand economics and invest your income.  You can hire someone to do that for you but you will never know if you are being deceived and cheated.  Nothing is worse than a good sportsman that made bad business choices.  The same goes for other unconventional professions.  If you make it big as a rock star, you will have to understand language as there are many legal contracts that you have to read through.  Language is not just for authors or lawyers. 

Now that you realise in order to achieve your goals you will have to work on your school education, we will discuss how you can approach learning and make this your best school year.

Let’s say you want to achieve an average of 80% for all your subjects by the end of the year.  You simply can’t get 50% throughout the year and expect a high mark for your final exam.  Big goals are only achieved by smaller accomplishments every day, consistently performed to your best ability.  If you want a distinction for all your subjects, you will have to do your homework every day; you have to study every day.  You have to work hard constantly, not just on days when you “feel like it”.  On top of that, you have to do extra.  If you do your homework and study hard, but you still struggle with the topic, then you have to access more resources.  You can get help from a tutor, watch and read tutorials and study guides.  You can use your ASP-SchoolProjects subscription to work through practice test and exam papers. 

If you put in the effort, you will be successful.  Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” 

Motivate yourself daily.
If a total of 92% of people quit their New Year’s resolutions, you need to be in the 8% of people that keep pursuing their goals.  This means to motivate yourself daily.  There will be days where you aren’t going to feel like doing homework or studying; training for the athletics, going to choir practice, or playing the violin.  Some days you are going to feel tired, drained or just not in the mood.  But you are not going to quit!  You have to remind yourself that you are in the top 8% of the world that will stick to their plan. 

Ways to overcome this is to look for motivational quotes and paste them all over your bedroom walls.  Keep a diary where you have pictures of your heroes in.  Have a vision board to remember your goals.  Remind yourself that you are worthy of achieving every goal and dream you have. 

“People often say that motivation doesn't last.  Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar

Lastly, have fun!
Working hard to achieve your goals isn’t supposed to be horrible – it should be fun!  Visualise yourself having the things you want.  Visualise how you are going to feel when you achieve that goal.  Imagine how good you are going to feel when you run faster, get great marks, sing higher notes or play better sports and when you make yourself proud!  Be excited and inspired because we are given one life and it is a good life - even though it is hard some days.  We should strive to become our best selves, because we deserve to be who we are meant to be.  Steve Jobs said, “The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

New Year’s Resolutions are fun and exciting to make.  We would love to hear your story and how you plan on pursuing your New Year’s goals.  What has your life been like in the past and how long do your New Year’s resolutions normally last?  Perhaps you have already overcome some of these obstacles and have started to build the future you want for yourself.  Do you have any advice and motivational quotes that inspired you to make a change?  Please share it with us!  We wish you all a wonderful New Year!