How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions? Every January, millions of us resolve to change our habits and behaviours for the better. But despite our best intentions, the statistics are bleak – around 80% of New Year’s resolutions bite the dust by the second week of February.
After a year in which our resilience was tested to its limits, mustering up the enthusiasm to set goals for the next 12 months may seem like a tall order. However, the fact remains that properly thought-out resolutions can be a good way of pinpointing our intentions for the year ahead. Resolutions help to focus our minds on the things that are important to us and, if done right, they are powerful, even life changing.
The trick to making resolutions stick is to ensure that they are in line with your values, beliefs and deeper purpose. This year, I want to urge you to forgo punitive resolutions along the lines of “must lose weight” or “exercise more” and instead focus your energies on goals that will help you move forward, to grow, develop and become the best version of yourself.
To help you get started, we have selected a few questions to refer to throughout the coming 12 months. These questions are designed to delve deeper into the motivations behind your resolutions and encourage you to think about why you want to make these changes.
DO I TREAT OTHERS AS I WANT TO BE TREATED?
The Golden Rule of treating others how you want to be treated goes beyond simply being kind to people. If you treat those around you with friendliness, respect, politeness and loyalty, others with similar morals will respond to you in the same way.
The Golden Rule can be hard to put into action when you feel that someone has wronged you, but try to stay open to seeing the other side of any argument or confrontation. Rather than flying off the handle, do your best to assert your rights in a calm and measured manner without retaliating. The 6-Second Rule is a powerful tool that can help you manage your emotional reactions in stressful situations.
Always strive to be mindful of your own thinking and the messages you send to others with your words and actions. Often we don ‘t realise when we treat others in hurtful ways and it helps to take a step back to see what impact our own thought patterns and habits have on our relationships and interactions. Developing our emotional intelligence helps us to be more aware of how internal emotions and perceptions influence our external behaviour.
DOES MY SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE REFLECT MY BEST SELF?
Your social media profile is an extension of your real-life self and, as such, it is essential that your online persona reflects your unique strengths and values. Think of your social media profile as a window through which other people can discover who you really are. Your social content can influence your employment prospects, school performance and potential future relationships.
Always bear in mind that, due to their public nature, anyone can access your profile, pictures, posts and comments. Steer clear of knee-jerk reactions to other people’s posts or comments, try not to post when you are angry or upset, and do not tag friends without prior permission.
HOW CAN I REFRAME A NEGATIVE MINDSET?
As humans none of us are immune from making mistakes from time to time. Cultivating a growth mindset builds resilience and helps us to digest failure by reframing mistakes as opportunities to learn. A growth mindset is based on the idea that, when presented with a challenge, our response is not “I can’t do this”, but rather “How can I learn to do this?”
Instead of giving up at the first hurdle, try to use perceived failures as a starting point for developing new strategies to achieve your goals. Whether you are trying to master a new skill or attempting to strengthen character traits such as patience and compassion, view lapses as temporary stumbling blocks that you can grow from rather than permanent failures.
DOES MY PERSONAL PRESENTATION NEED POLISHING?
A new year is the perfect time to define and refine your personal style. Start with a thorough inventory of your wardrobe to make sure that all the clothes you own fit and flatter you. Identify any gaps and invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Your shoes and accessories add the finishing touch that can elevate an otherwise pared-down look so make sure that these are polished and in good condition.
Do not forget to pay attention to your posture and poise. Knowing how to maintain an elegant posture and control your facial expressions, will go a long way towards helping you make a great first impression.
HOW AM I INVESTING IN MYSELF IN 2021?If you do only one thing this year, let it be to stop comparing yourself to others and instead focus on investing in yourself. Constantly looking at those around you to provide a frame of reference for how well you are doing in your work, social status or relationships creates a cycle of negativity where you never feel good enough.
Most of us tend to compare our weaknesses with others’ strengths, meaning that we constantly come up short in the comparison game. Research shows that the happiest people are those who focus their efforts on improving themselves and use their own accomplishments as a frame of reference to track progress.
Unless we want to stand still, learning has to be a lifelong process where the journey is as important as the end destination. Even if you have reached the top of the corporate ladder, bear in mind that the most successful leaders are those who continually sharpen their skills and broaden their minds.
Knowledge and achievement do not happen overnight but are the result of an accumulation of hard work and practice. Committing to lifelong learning means feeding your curiosity and targeting your weaknesses by reading books or signing up for courses that stimulate the mind and lead you in new directions.
Regardless of what your goals and aspirations are for the coming year, we would love to help you move towards them by building confidence, strengthening mindset and empowering you to be the best version of yourself in 2021 and beyond.