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New Years Resolutions

by Adam Clark 31. December 2007 18:20

The end is the beginning

My approach to New Year's resolutions is to forget about the first of January. Instead of focusing on what I want to do at the beginning of the year, I find it much more powerful to look at how I'd like my life to be different by the end of the year. How would I like things to be on 31 December 2008? What are the steps I should take to get there? What are the milestones along the way?

It's all part of beginning with the end in mind. I think this is a fantastic approach to life. If we all thought about how we were going to conclude things before we started them, we would save ourselves a lot of grief. I outline a five-step guide to New Year's resolutions below.

Make time over the next few days to think about how you'd like your life to be in one year's time. Work out what you need to do to get there. Believe you can do it, and enjoy the journey!

New Year's resolutions

1. What are the areas of your life you'd like to be different?

Where are you in your relationships? How are things with those closest to you? How could they be different? What can you do to help bring changes about? How are things at work? How could they be different? What about your health? And the way you use your time? Be bold in the way you look at things. If you were really true to yourself, what would that mean in practical terms for your life?

Man at new year
New year can be a time for reflection
and planning as well as partying and boozing

2. Plan your year

Bearing in mind what you've come up with, what are the steps you need to take along the way to get there? If you want to be in a loving relationship by the end of the year, what should you be doing in January to help bring this about? If you'd like to be 5 kilos lighter next Christmas, what should you weigh by June? If you'd like to have a new job, how should you be using your free time in the spring?

3. Be clear

Sometimes it's easier to hide behind general statements such as I want my flat to be tidier. If you want to have a tidier home by the end of 2006, what, specifically, do you need to do? Make a list of all the things you need clear up. There may be papers in your living room, magazines you've been meaning to read and foodstuffs you never use. Be clear about what you're going to do and when you'll do it. This is more challenging, but you're much more likely to succeed.

4. Believe

Believe you can do it. Make yourself comfortable, relax and imagine your life as you'd like it to be. What does it look like? How does it feel? How do you look? Seeing these things in your imagination helps you to bring them about. If you expect to succeed, your subconscious will be alert to the signals that confirm you in this expectation, thus reinforcing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Man with Christmas present
Give your life a little thought this Christmas

5. Learn from your mistakes

Don't see your set backs as failure. You can always learn from them. If you've managed to have three weeks without smoking, for example, and then find yourself smoking at a party, don't depress yourself with the thought that you're back at square one. You had those three weeks as a non-smoker. What did you do during that time that helped you not to smoke? What could you do to lessen the likelihood of smoking again when next you find yourself at a party? Opinions differ as to how many attempts Thomas Edison took to make the prototype light bulb. Some say he had 200 attempts, some 500, some 700. The important thing was his attitude. He persevered. When asked how he managed to keep on going after so many failures, he reportedly said “I didn't fail; I just discovered 700 ways how not to do it.”

Use a few hours over the next few days to think about your life and where you are going. Make 2008 different and enjoy the changes!

Adam Clark

Adam Clark is 38 and lives with his partner of 19 years in Wimbledon. Through Gay Life Coach he has helped hundreds of people to bring about sustained changes in their lives. Those he has worked with have praised the way he has built their confidence and helped them through difficult times.

Adam offers a free initial coaching consultation. You can contact him on 07947 959869 or through his website www.gaylifecoach.co.uk

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