Looking For A Change In 2018? Keep Resolutions Realistic

Happy New Year! Yes, it is the end of 2017. It’s a time to make sure you write the correct year on checks (assuming you’re one of the 15 people left in the United States who still writes checks), store the Christmas fruitcake for another year and make some of those ever-popular New Year’s Resolutions.

Depending on which list of “Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2018” you choose to believe, there can be hundreds of important life-improving ideas for individuals, consumers, businesses large and small, even the U.S. government. But the most common seem to be included in some form on each list: live healthier (stop smoking, lose weight, be consistent at the gym); be more fiscally sound (both for yourself and your family); spend more quality time with family and friends; try something new without being afraid; and/or find a new job (if you’re not happy where you’re currently employed).

According to success coach Kathy Caprino, “New Year’s Resolutions are promises we make to ourselves about a future vision we wish to achieve, but more often than not, we lack the strategy, commitment, focus and accountability to make them a reality.” She outlines six steps to bring about powerful, realistic change:

1: Understand specifically why you want this change. Think about how your life will be different when you manifest this change, and why you’ll be happier, more successful and more fulfilled by bringing this about.

2: Make your resolutions SMART, as in goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Develop a fully fleshed-out plan of how you’ll do it, and articulate that in writing.

3: Dream big, but add a healthy dose of realism. Be realistic about the time, energy and commitment it will take to make your resolution a reality.

4: Base your goal on the positive aspects, not what you’re running away from. Reframe your resolutions to a more positive, expansive direction that encompasses what you truly want, not what you want to leave behind.

5: Connect with your past successes. Bring forward those traits and capabilities you already possess, and make sure those steps and abilities you’ve drawn on before are reflected in your new goals.

6: Step up your accountability and get the right kind of help. Realize what you don’t know, and get outside help to support you.

Change for the sake of change isn’t always wise. Change — and the focus on change — should be for self-improvement. Most importantly, for a resolution to be successful, they should be legitimate, honest and achievable. For example, “I resolve to win the Florida Lottery” is none of these. However, “I resolve to spend money more wisely” has the air of plausibility, which makes it a legitimate resolution. And when it comes down to basics, all of these resolutions boil down to one axiom: “Be a better person in the future.”

And if you can achieve that, 2018 will already be winner of a year!