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You can do it: Keep those resolutions this New Year

The first thing most people do after bringing in the New Year is to begin making those pesky promises to themselves about what they plan to accomplish.

Avid resolution maker Monique Braynen-Hanna is one of the many people who faithfully makes new promises to herself every New Year. The mother of two says that she always starts off her year with a bang, trying to improve on bad habits, but each year those promises fall to the wayside after the third month of trying. But this year she is sure that she will make her resolutions a reality.

“I have been making resolutions for as long as I knew what they were,”says the 30-year-old.

“They started out as promises to Santa that if he brought me this toy this year I would behave and work harder in school or have more manners. But as I got older the resolutions and promises I made to myself got to be more meaningful. This year I am aiming to be more conscious of people’s feelings and the consequences of my actions. While I am active in church with my family I am not committed to anything so I will work on that this year. I also want to be better at time management and finishing projects I start which are things I say to myself I will do better at every year. So I do hope I just get better and really accomplish a lot more this year. I am hoping this will not be like other years where I stray after the first few months. I just really aim to focus and see what happens.”

Like Braynen-Hanna most people find it difficult to fulfill their annual goals. Yet Dr. David Allen, psychiatrist at the Renascence Institute International, says that this does not have to be.

The number one reason that people fail at their resolutions is because they take them too seriously, he says.

“A New Year’s resolution should be like setting up a budget for the beginning of the year. Without having that plan when you start something is setting yourself up to drift and accomplish little so it is important to have one. But even if you already set a specific goal and you don’t meet it by the time you wanted, don’t worry about it. Just set a new resolution and go from there. Many people just give up and don’t go on once they see things not going the way they want it. This isn’t what you do. Just keep trying and making new resolutions and meeting them as best you can is all,”he says.

Another good idea to help you keep your resolutions this year is not to make one to span the whole year, according to the psychiatrist. It is more realistic to make a goal that you want to meet on a month-to-month basis, or you can break it down to a week-to-week schedule. In this way you make small goals that you can see happening over that manageable period of time.

“A year is a long time to plan out for an idea you want to accomplish,”says the doctor.”For many it’s overwhelming and people can quickly lose interest after a few weeks because they aren’t getting the results they want which not only disappoints them but shames them as well. On this note many people don’t stick to their resolutions because they set their expectations too high or too low. If it’s easily attainable interest is lost in the same way as if it is too high and it’s unrealistic to accomplish. This creates a shame gap which is the space between one’s expectations and the actual achievement. This is why if you really want to keep your resolution it is best to ensure it is an optimal one. Also always ask two or three other people you know if your resolution is a reasonable one that can be accomplished even with some difficulty is a good plan. It’s also a good idea to share your resolutions with others so that they can help keep you accountable. They’ll check up on you and you’ll check up on them with theirs. There is a greater chance for success doing it this way.”

Debbie Carroll-Wright says that after

making resolutions for the last 20 years she has learned not to stress about not accomplishing them in time frame that she desired.

“Every year I make a resolution, be it to lose weight or to learn to do something new perfectly by the end of the year, and I was always disappointed that I didn’t accomplish it,”says the 30-year-old.

“But with time I realized not to look at my accomplishment in specific and minute detail. So yes, I said I wanted to lose 50 pounds last year, but by the end of this year I didn’t but I did lose 10 pounds so I am learning to look at anything I do achieve, no matter how small it is, as an accomplishment. It just means I have 40 to lose this New Year, and if I go at the rate I am I can look to being where I want to be in another four years. I learnt from this resolution thing just to let go, don’t stress and do what you can but never ever give up.”

Dr. Allen adds that to make a resolution work no matter how small or large you have to change your state of consciousness.

“Albert Einstein once said that’The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.’ 

“Many people today don’t accomplish their goals because they go in with the same mind frame they had when they encountered the problem they wish to fix. This year to ensure your goals are met change your mindset. Think differently than you have ever before whether it is through dialogue, finding assistance from outside or learning more about how to motivate yourself.”

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