I was reading
this short article from Harvey Mackay and thought you’d enjoy it.



New year, new you?  Every year, we fool ourselves into
thinking that at the stroke of midnight January 1, we will be able to make
changes both large and small.  And every year, it seems, we realize that
isn’t as easy as it sounds.


Making a New Year’s resolution is like setting any other type of
goal.  You have to choose wisely if you want to achieve something
significant.  Remember that a good resolution, like a solid goal, usually
has a few definable characteristics:

  • Focus.  Set a definite
    target:  “Lose 10 pounds by June” is better than “Lose
    some weight.”
  • Challenge.  Your resolution
    should be neither too difficult, nor too easy.
  • Commitment.  Share your
    resolutions with others.  That will help you work on them.
  • Presence.  Write down your
    resolutions in detail, and post your list where you’ll see it often.
  • Vision.  Visualize the results
    you want to achieve every day.

So have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?  Forget the
boring, routine promises you won’t keep, like working out every day and giving
up every food that tastes good.

Resolve to be more creative in 2012.  My friend Jenny staggers her
resolutions throughout the year, because she knows it takes about 30 days of
trying to actually develop a new habit.  Then, when she achieves one
self-improvement goal, she tackles another positive move.  She started
this practice about three years ago, and swears by the results.

Want to get a head start?  Here are some thoughts to try for 2012.

  • Keep a journal.  Spend a few minutes every
    day or so writing down your thoughts, feelings, dreams and ambitions-not
    your daily schedule or your upcoming appointments.  Let your mind
    wander.  This is for your eyes only, so be bold.  You may be
    surprised at the ideas you generate.
  • Read more.  Vary your reading habits
    and explore different topics.  If you usually read novels, try a
    biography.  If you read only history, try a book on modern-day
    science.  Exercise your mind, spark your creative side, take your
    brain in a completely different direction.
  • Learn something new.  Take a class in something
    unrelated to your job or your usual hobbies-art, auto mechanics,
    philosophy, etc.  Mastering new skills can refresh your outlook on
    life.  Do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.  Visit the museum you
    drive by every day.  Watch the History Channel.  Just break out
    of your daily routine.
  • Meet new people.  Make a positive
    effort to make new friends this year (or professional contacts).
    Look for gatherings of people whose interests match yours, and
    network.  The more people you know, the better equipped you are to
    learn and grow.  Then find a creative way to stay in touch.
  • Create something for the
    heck of it.

    Paint a picture, write a poem, or start a garden-not because you’ll get
    paid for it, but because you want to.  You’ll find satisfaction in
    achieving personal goals and motivation to keep trying new things.
  • Volunteer.  Find a cause you support,
    and offer your time and service.  You’ll meet new people and enjoy
    the feeling of helping out with an important cause.  There is always
    a need for committed volunteers whose contributed talents help fill in
    budget and staffing holes.  As important as financial support is, the
    human factor is critical to the success of many worthy organizations.
  • Take care of yourself.  Get moving after a day at a
    desk.  If you can’t devote 30 minutes in one block, take three
    10-minute walks throughout the day.  Try a different food.  We
    all know what’s good for us, and most of us can’t sacrifice our favorite
    things.  So resolve to make little changes and see what a difference
    it makes.
  • Resolve to see the bright

    Every cloud has a silver lining.  Setbacks are part of life.
    This is the year that you can adjust your attitude to look for the
    possibilities rather than the problems.  This is a resolution you
    should start before January 1 if you tend toward pessimism.

the calendar as an incentive, but don’t abandon your goals because of an
arbitrary date.  Every day starts a new year.  It’s up to you to make
it your best year.