Now that 2009 is coming to a close, everybody is quickly starting to focus on their New Year's Resolutions. However, first before setting the resolutions for the future, I encourage you to take this time to first reflect on the past year.
This is a great time to look at the achievements, changes, progress you have made towards any goals, whether big or small, whether personal, professional, monetary, family-related, or relationship-related that you made in 2009. Pat yourself on the back, maybe for your ability to deal with adversity of any sort. Perhaps you will recognize your strength in overcoming hardships whether it be related to your family or friends, colleagues, classmates, the economy, society as a whole, bad habits, your past etc.. You can also smile knowing that even your survival of 2009 can be seen as achievement. All of these things are achievements, whether small or big and are always steps towards something greater.
Based on your achievements, you will also be able recognize the areas in which you might need a little more focus, or less focus based on your desires and needs. This will help you determine your goals for 2010, if you desire to even make them.
Looking forward, your 2010 New Year's resolutions should be a reflection of movement that you have already made, and steps you have already taken. In short, I suggest that if you make resolutions they be realistic and achievable. Too often I hear of outrageous resolutions that don't incorporate the lifestyle changes required, the baby steps needed to make sure that goal sticks. For example, if your resolution is to quit smoking or to lose weight, you should recognize that both of these goals involve lifestyle changes as well, sometimes bigger and greater than you thought. Whether it be diet and exercise, the people you choose to associate with, the schedule/routine you currently have some other things will most likely need to be altered in order to accommodate your goal. Make sure those changes are also achievable, otherwise you may not stick to your plan. The problem with overly lofty New Year's Resolutions is that they breed disappointment and feelings of failure. But, when all is said and done and you managed to survive a year like 2009, there is no way you could possibly be a failure.
Recognize your limitations. Recognize that where you want to go may require some smaller baby steps in order to be achieved. Step back and look at the bigger picture and then set your goals, one step at a time. And while you're at it, pat yourself on the back each and every time you achieve even the smallest goal. This will help assure that you continue on your path towards your plan. Also, give yourself room for setbacks. For example, as the economy in 2009 showed us that setbacks can and will happen and are often out of our control. This can hinder even the best laid plans. So don't beat yourself up if a goal was not met because of variables out of your control.
Not everybody makes New Year's Resolutions which might mean that you pursue your goals year round or that you simply choose to enjoy the journey, to live in the moment and go where it takes you. Either way, goals are sometimes good to have but they are not the end all be all. As they say, It's not the Destination, so please remember to Enjoy the Journey as well.Happy New Year and All The Best in 2010!