Well ... it’s time to say goodbye to another year and welcome in a New Year – ready or not.
I hope the strategies and tools presented in this Holiday Happiness series have helped you enjoy the holiday season as much as possible by:
you have used some of these strategies, you should have felt a much
greater sense of joy and a more positive overall outlook throughout this
And even though the holiday season may be almost over, there are still some great ways to reduce stress as we wind down the year and perhaps be better prepared for next year's holiday season. So if you haven’t read the previous issues of the BeHappy101.com Holiday Happiness series, or you just need to refresh yourself on what they contain, it’s not too late to get something out of them. If that’s the case, just click here to start with Part 1 of the series.
Now, it’s time to start preparing for the year ahead. How was this year for you? Was it a difficult year? Were you as happy as you could have been throughout the year? Did you meet your goals for the year? Have you made a list of goals for next year and the next decade? What about some New Year’s resolutions?
Many people make resolutions during this time of year. And while I believe there is a big difference between New Year’s resolutions and annual goals, both can be important to help make the most of your year – if there is active follow-through and a strong commitment to achieving them.
Both of these topics – New Year’s resolutions and annual goal setting – can be crucial to our happiness, as well as to our unhappiness, depending on whether the resolutions and goals are achieved or not.
For this part of the “Holiday Happiness” series, since the new year is here, we’re going to focus on resolutions rather than goals. [There is a full goal-setting article here at BeHappy101.com (check it out by clicking here). It could change your life – and make you much happier]
New Years Resolutions
Are any of these on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Do you have other resolutions for the New Year?
In general, it’s good to have resolutions at the start of every year. Unfortunately, most resolutions are never achieved (according to the stats, only about 10% of New Years Resolutions are achieved), and many people have actually stopped making New Year’s resolutions because of this fact.
Here are the main reasons I believe most resolutions are not achieved:
In general, this list partially represents why New Years Resolutions are
different from goals. Because goals should be written down. You
should have relatively few goals. Each of your goals should have a
compelling reason why they must be achieved, and so on. Goals require a
commitment and a plan.
So, with all this in mind, here is an exercise to help you prioritize your resolutions, have a better chance of achieving them, and start you on your way to a better, happier year ahead:
As an aside, your list of resolutions could be much different from your list of goals for the new year. Resolutions usually differ from goals
in that resolutions are usually more general in nature. Goals are
specific and measurable. Some goals can be the same as resolutions.
For example, if you are a smoker, both your resolution and your goal could be to quit smoking. It’s specific and measurable.
In contrast, therefore, to the examples of resolutions listed above, these could be some of your goals for next year:
As you can see, these are more specific than the resolutions listed,
which tend to be mostly general in nature (help others, try something
new, etc.). Most of the goals in this case happen to also be unrelated
to the resolutions.
“Goals” is the subject of a much more comprehensive article here on the BeHappy! website. Click here to go to the start of the BeHappy! goal-setting series [but it's best if you finish this edition of Holiday Happiness first, then go to the goal-setting series once you're finished (there's a link at the end, too)]. So here’s an example of how your New Year’s Resolution list should look:
Now, taking those resolutions labeled with a "1" in the list above, here is how that new list would appear next by adding the compelling reasons why they must be achieved:
Once you've gotten this far in the process, you should be quite excited
about the next year and motivated to create your action plan to ensure
So keep the process going. Make your list of New Years resolutions if you haven't already. Focus on the two or three #1 priority ones. Then, make sure to add the reasons why each of those top resolutions must be achieved. Follow through with creating a plan for achieving each of them, dividing the plan into some regular "milestones" and evaluation points. Tell someone about your resolutions for the year and if you need support, get it. The person you tell about your resolutions might be the one to support you. Then, make sure to take the next step and create your goals for the next year and beyond by going to the series on Effective Goal Setting listed in the "Related Articles" section below.
Every new year brings opportunity - and this coming year is no exception (see the "Related Articles" below for a great financial perspective on the opportunities available over the next year and beyond). And even though "life goes on", and circumstances can be difficult, at the very least there is the opportunity to resolve to make your life better and happier. That's what this website is all about.
So as my good friend, Neil Cantor, in Tampa says:
"May the best things that happened to you this year be the worst things that happen to you next year".
the start of the New Year - in the final installment of this “Holiday
Happiness” series - we explore more ways to make the next year your
happiest year ever. So, after January 6th click here to read the New Year Part of the series.
BeHappy! my friends, and...
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