Tick tock tick tock …
Can you hear it too?
That’s the clock counting down towards the end of 2015, getting ready to welcome 2016.
As the year winds down, this week has probably become one of the most exciting weeks of the year. Some people might be using this week to sit down and reflect on their past year. They might be asking themselves questions like, “What have I done this year that I could do better next year?”, or maybe, “What have I done this year, that I should avoid doing next year?”, “What have I not done this year, that I should be doing next year?” The answers to those questions may likely be added into your ever-increasing 2016 New Year’s resolutions.
It could also become one of the most dreadful week for some people. Why? Because they looked back at their past year and realised that they haven’t achieved all of their resolutions. They felt terrible and ashamed at failing again. Out of the many that they have listed, they have probably abandoned half of them, or worse, nearly all of them.
To be honest, I have failed too.
I first begun making new year’s resolutions around 8 years ago, wanting to make my life better, wanting to achieve more, wanting to do more, get more things done, or just be a slightly better person overall. I have had mixed results. I have not always completed my commitments. I have not always checked off everything in the list. Like many of you, I have abandoned many of the goals that I first begun at the beginning of the year.
Then I begun thinking to myself, what is wrong with me? Why do I have such a weak willpower? Why do I fail to follow through on my own commitments to myself? I thought long and hard as to what’s wrong and I looked back at my lists that I have made over the years. Then, it dawned on me: Most, if not all the items that I have included in my new year’s resolutions have always been about myself. It is basically a selfish resolutions. They are always all about me, me and me. What’s so wrong about that, though? To find out more, I searched the web for the top ten new year’s resolutions, that are commonly broken.
- Stay fit and healthy
- Lose weight
- Enjoy life to the fullest
- Spend less, save more
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Get organized
- Will not make any resolutions
- Learn something new/new hobby
- Travel more
- Read more
There are countless tips, life-hacks, courses and articles available on the internet to help you make a better new year’s resolutions, or to design your year so that your new year is going to be your best ever year. I am not saying that those tips and courses aren’t good. They are good. I believe that we all can use a little extra help to motivate us towards a better life, or a better version of ourself in the next year. And I am not proposing a better method. I am suggesting however, to add a little extra that can help you keep your commitments and your promises better in 2016.
I am suggesting that you make a slight change to the annual mission statement that you have just written down. You need to give yourself a good reason you need to “stay fit and healthy”. Staying fit and healthy is a good start, but don’t stop there. Rewrite it so that it will remind you of why you are doing it in the first place. For example, instead of writing “stay fit and healthy”, I might write instead, “stay fit and healthy so I can have more energy each day to spend with my children.”
Here’s how I might rewrite the above top ten resolutions to be more others oriented instead of self oriented:
- Stay fit and healthy, so I have more energy each day to spend with my loved ones
- Lose weight, so that I can inspire my children
- Enjoy life to the fullest, so I can stop complaining to my spouse
- Spend less, save more, so I can give more to charity
- Spend more time with family and friends, to show how much I love them
- Get organized, and thus have the integrity to teach my children about discipline
- Will not make any resolutions, because, as a leader, I want to inspire my follower by following through on my commitments
- Learn something new/new hobby, so I can use the new skills to help others
- Travel more, so I can give my family a memorable experience
- Read more, so I can write better and inspiring contents
When you remember that your new year, the next part of your life is no longer about yourself but about others and what you can do for others, you find true meaning for your life and you have an even greater desire and strength to honor your commitments. It also makes your new year, a significant one.
What I have just given you is basically the “why” to your resolutions. How many times have you asked yourself the question “Why did I have to do this?”, or “Why did I have to go through all this pain?” and found yourself unable to answer? That’s because you have not given yourself a good enough “why”.
Give it a try today. You’ll be glad you did.
Have you written down your new year’s resolutions yet? Come join me in re-writing your resolutions and give yourself a big “why” to each of your resolutions. Then, share with me in the comments below.