Think of all the resolutions we’ve made for the past few years. The one’s that come to mind probably go somewhere along the lines of “I want to lose weight”, “I’m going to study harder” or “I’ll be a better person”.
Good qualities with vague and non-committal roles. Now think of all the times that we’ve actually been satisfied with the results, or even completed them.
Haven’t completed the bulk of your resolutions? Welcome to the party.
Most of us probably have trouble keeping our resolutions for more than a few months, or even weeks. Fret not! SmileTutor brings to you…
1. Figure out the things you weren’t happy about.
We’ve all got things that pissed us off the previous year. Was it incessant daily nagging from the authorities and your alarm clock? Your dog ACTUALLY eating your homework when you finally decided to complete something? Or perhaps, you’re a creative who spawned in the ever-oppressive Singapore – land of suppressed creativity.
Write it all down in your journal or a piece of paper. Get all that negative energy out. It’s a good time to let go and start afresh for the New Year anyway.
2. Find common patterns in all that unhappiness.
With every fruit that appears in your life, there’s bound to be a tree that it came from – and you can bet that tree has roots. All those rotten apples must be coming from somewhere. Take time to study everything that you’ve written down. What’s the source (or sources) of all your unhappiness? Think about whether the root is external or internal.
Have you been having toxic people sapping away at you in your life? Perhaps an unresolved issue? Or is it a pattern on laziness that’s been seeping into all aspects of your life?
3. Learn from them.
In every situation, there’s always something to be learnt. Sometimes, it could be a traumatic experience that teaches you compassion. Sometimes it could just be a simple lesson that you’ve been unintentionally surrounding yourself with unhealthy company and that you need to reconsider your choice in friends.
Consider what can be changed and what can’t be changed. If it can be changed, great! Move on to point 4. If not, read on.
4. Leave any emotional baggage behind.
One general rule of thumb that I’ve always lived by is that bad things will always happen. Bad people will always enter our lives at some point of time. Conflict will always occur.
There is far too little in this world that can be controlled, and the only thing we have control over is ourselves. We have the power of CHOICE, and the power of choice is an extremely powerful thing indeed.
I remember something one of my superiors once told me: Idiots will never be manageable, so smile.
Perhaps, you have someone difficult in your life. Barring difficult people who threaten your life, family or job, most of them are generally not entirely harmful – except your rising blood pressure.
Remember this: You have power over the stress levels caused by others.
Rage about them and grieve if you need to. Then, let it all go and leave them behind in 2015. Because, really, are these people honestly worth your time, energy and attention?
5. Decide on one specific thing you want to change.
Let’s say you’ve found the root of all your problems. If it’s an external issue that’s causing you to be living a lower quality of life than expected, do your research. Find out what are the steps that can be done to resolve the problem. Google’s your best friend.
Now, if it’s an internal issue – meaning the problem’s you – it becomes a little trickier. Most of us would like to blame everyone else for our problems but let’s face it, no one’s perfect. We have the tendency to create problems for ourselves. Talk it out with someone trustworthy and work out a solution to overcome your blind spots.
6. Set a deadline and create milestones.
7. Keep yourself accountable.
One man is easily taken down but a chord of two strands is not easily broken. What makes resolutions so easy to break is that they can challenge us at the worst of times. Change is never an easy thing to make and it can be tempting to give up when life, old habits and bad company all come crashing in at once.
Keep a progress journal, or even better, ask someone to keep an eye on you. These will give you the butt-kicking you need when you start slacking off on your commitment.