New Year Resolutions: Are you making any?
A new year has begun (as per the Christian calendar) and the overpriced HNY 2011 SMS’ have been exchanged. The other info that people seek from each other are their new year’s resolutions. Something that’s predictably a matter of much laughs and gags coz being serious about it is so being left out. Well, this year I choose to consider it slightly differently. New Year’s resolutions can be rewarding and beneficial to you if you take it up in the right spirit. What follows are a few ways of perceiving the daunting task of keeping your word to your self more manageable and exciting…ok motivational at least.
Time to Decide
You may be on-dot about sending out your new year wishes to all the world at exactly 00:00 of 1st Jan as per your timezone, but there’s no hard and fast rule of coming up with resolutions at that very instant. In fact, as far as resolutions are concerned, only your commitment and time is required. You set the rules or you bend the rules. You decide how much progress makes you happy. When deciding what you would resolve to do in the span of one calendar year, take your time to list a bunch of ideas. Prioritize them. Shortlist them by reasoning and estimating how much time you could give each of those resolutions in a day, week, month, etc. These resolutions can’t be too time critical. You don’t choose clearing annual exams in April as New Year’s resolution. That’s something higher priority than your resolutions. The sooner you decide on your resolutions, the more long-term or complex they can be. As June gets over, you would think of smaller tasks or feats to achieve in the remaining time. No pressure on how soon or how big a resolution you are going to take up.
Be Creative. Be Selfish
Almost none of us have answers to “What’re your New Year resolutions?” that we really want to say the instant the year turns new. The answers that you generically get to hear have become, to put it bluntly, boring and non-motivational. How do you make sure you want to follow up on your new year’s resolutions? By making resolutions that you really would gain most joy out of their completion. Think unique. Put a little twist on what people generally resolve to do. Make sure it all benefits you the most. When I suggest that you be creative, it also implies that you be constructive. If you resolve to make others happy then cheers to you, but not if it doesn’t make you happy as a result.
So let us assume that you have decided on your resolutions early on and there are several months until 1st Jan 2012. For most of us, without a plan, time just flies. On the other hand planning for such a long time span also doesn’t seem like a job of few minutes. What can help in such a situation is some system for Project Management. If you are using a computer (like when reading this blog), your choices for project management are quite a few and free as well. Some I know of are TaskCoach (Windows, Linux, OSX, iPhone OS 2.2.1+), TaskJuggler (Linux), Zoho Project (web). Regardless of how complex these software interfaces may seem, know your basic needs from them. You merely need to write your main resolution as the main node and self-brainstorm to list out subtasks that would add up towards completion of the main resolution. Add subtasks as branch nodes. Say your resolution needs 5 subtasks. You got say 10 months until year end. 2 months per task is long. Focus on each subtask as if it were the main task and see further how you could break them up. Your resolution chart would be like a hierarchy of sorts. You get to see the details and you get to see the big picture. Aim to complete smaller parts of the task in smaller amounts of time. Shorter time spans are easier to focus on and manage. Ultimately the project management tool would help you track your progress. For progress you make, on an initiative you take, you deserve all the joy and credit you get out of it.
In the quest for completion of your mega resolution, it helps to take time off and rejoice the progress covered so far. How do you decide on when? You set milestones. Simply put milestones are deadlines for your subtasks. Subtasks are on their own mini-projects. When you complete them and do so within stipulated time, its all the more reason to rejoice. How grand or how modest you want your celebrations to be depends on you. No one is going to judge you. These are your own achievements of your own challenges. Have a good time. Time to time.
Now this is a complete alternative to new ‘year’ resolution. Let’s say you just don’t have the drive to follow through with resolutions that need a whole year of planning and execution. Your ideas are more of short term benefits. Don’t give up on resolving altogether. You can resolve to conquer some challenges that would take you say half of a year or maybe just a quarter. One reason would be if you took a bit more time than May 31st to decide on your resolutions (no harm as explained in 2nd para). Other reason would be that you want to get started on a resolution as soon as you think of one and don’t want to think over and assess if they are worthy of a year long commitment. You just complete the task and then start deciding on your next resolution. A half-yearly resolution followed by 2 quarterly resolutions for example. Aim is to keep yourself creatively occupied for personal benefits throughout the year. Never bore yourself.
Mutually support resolutions
When we have tasks or resolutions that are not exactly all fun and games,it helps to keep the spirit and interests up by committing to your resolutions in a group. If you find company and support of your friends or family for that matter to be useful in keeping you focussed then keep them around. Support each other in following through with your resolutions. Encourage each and every member of the group to decide on their resolutions. Help each other prioritize what’s important and beneficial to them. Even if you are a loner, there are sites like 43things (The site is focussed on New Year’s resolutions at the time of writing this), wherein people support each other to take up good habits or get rid of bad habits. Working on your habits is a form of resolution but not vice versa. Be open about your commitment and you feel a sense of responsibility towards seeing to the completion of your tasks/resolutions.
What ideas do you have to keep you going when it comes to working on your new year’s resolutions?
- 10 New Year’s Resolution Ideas for 2011 (dominica-weekly.com)
- Losing Weight and Other Crazy Resolutions (vamortgagecenter.com)
- Satan’s New Year Resolutions: The Devil’s Tips on How to Make and Keep a New Year’s Resolution (holyblasphemy.net)
- Many People Overdo It When Making New Year’s Resolutions (shoppingblog.com)
- 7 LOL Funny New Year’s Resolutions (blippitt.com)
- How To Use Mind-Mapping Software To Organize Your New Year Resolutions (makeuseof.com)
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Tags: New Year, New Year's resolution, Project management