A simple formula to become more positive
How to Make New Year’s
Resolutions You’ll Keep
By Harvey Mackay
It is New Year’s Eve and Charlie Brown says to Lucy: “Next year I am going to be a changed person.”
“That’s a laugh,” says Lucy sarcastically.
“I mean it,” says Charlie, “I’m going to be strong and firm.”
“Forget it,” says Lucy. “You’ll always be wishy-washy.”
“Well,” answers Charlie defensively, “One day I will be wishy and washy the next.”
Like Charlie Brown, most of us set New Year’s resolutions that are a little vague – lose some weight, spend more time with family and friends, quit smoking, quit drinking, enjoy life more, get out of debt, help others, get organized and on and on.
Just think, if everyone kept their New Year’s resolutions, the world would be a lot different: We’d have healthier people that would show up for work on time, smoke and drink less and be more organized.
Why don’t resolutions work? There are lots of reasons. Resolutions need to be specific, attainable and personal. They need to come from your heart. They can’t be suggested to you by someone else, because those resolutions are often more for the suggester than for the recipient!
And here’s a tip – the fewer resolutions the better. Too many changes at once, no matter how well-intentioned, become burdensome and confusing. Then it’s too easy to chuck it all and slip back into old habits.
What happens too often is that people set a goal or resolution and then they falter and just want to give up. That’s understandable. Don’t cave in and quit altogether. Just start up again. Give yourself a new incentive.
When I set a goal of a New Year’s resolution, I tell other people about it so it puts pressure on me to stick with it. I’m also a big believer in rewarding myself when I succeed or accomplish something.
This is a new year. It’s a fresh start … a new page or chapter in your life. There will never be a better time to try something new. Maybe you want to start a blog, research your family history, learn first aid or start running. How about you just forgive someone? Or decide to worry less? Whatever you decide, make sure you can actually accomplish what you set out to do. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals or putting them off indefinitely.
As author and minister Charles M. Sheldon said, “Good resolutions are like babies crying in church. They should be carried out immediately.”
Maybe this year you want to do something different. Forget the boring, routine promises you struggle to keep. Try resolving to be more creative in 2014 with some of these resolutions:
• 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. Record positive events, quotes and experiences. Let your mind wander a little. 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. Try and read a good book every month if possible. You’ll exercise your mind, and maybe find new connections between ideas.
• Learn something new. Take a class in something unrelated to your job or your usual hobbies – art, auto mechanics or learn a new language. Mastering new skills can refresh your outlook on life.
• Meet new people. Make a positive effort to make new friends or professional contacts this year. Look for gatherings of people whose interests match yours and network with them. The more people you know, the better equipped you are to learn and grow.
• 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. How about starting a collection of something? 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, enjoy the feeling of helping out with an important cause and enhance your own skills.
• Practice gratitude. Look for small gestures in everyday life that you are fortunate to experience. And seek out ways that you can be helpful. You will reap immediate rewards!
Mackay’s Moral: A New Year’s resolution should not be something that goes in one year and out the other! Happy 2014!
Harvey Mackay is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of the New York Times #1 bestseller “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” This article also appears on Harvey’s website, and was reprinted with his permission.
• People who are happy earn $750,000 more in their lifetime than others
• Happiness is 50% genetics and that’s why some people are just plain happy all of the time.
• 50% of your happiness level is NOT genetics, at least 40% relates to your happiness set-point, which is controlled by you! In the same way you can turn up the heater to warm up on chilly days you can reprogram your everyday level of happiness to a higher level of peace and happiness.
• If you are unhappy now, you will likely be unhappy 10 years from now, because you will maintain a constant level of happiness all of your life…unless you know how to do something to change it
• Research has found that those people who win the lottery increase their ‘happiness levels’ for a short time afterwards, but return to about the same level of happiness as they felt before winning
• Research has also found that most people who become paraplegic resulting from an accident return to their ‘pre-accident’ happiness levels within a relatively short amount of time.
• Research has shown that most people who are cured from or recover from a life-threatening health crisis have the ability to control their happiness set-point.
• Happy people live longer, are healthier, enjoy better relationships and earn more money.
• Unhappy people are 65% more likely to get a cold
• Unhappy people have a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, infection and Type 2 diabetes
• Unhappy people release more of the stress hormone, cortisol.
• Unhappy people are less likely to find a spouse and a more likely if they are married to become divorced
• Unhappy people live 9 years FEWER than their happy counterparts
Draw strength from the past.
Let its lessons guide you to a better future.
A time to visit the past is when you need to recapture special
moments that will be uplifting and provide strength.
Don’t dwell on the past forever.
We all try and recreate events that haven’t gone the way we had hoped.
Hours are spent going over and over the scenario so we end up with the result we wanted.
No matter how long you spend on the past it can’t be altered.
We must look back to learn from our failures and successes.
You can’t recreate your life.
You can create a new life.
Live in the moment.
Last week I made a decision to pursue my passion of building a business on the internet.
Over the years I have toyed with the concept but always lost my way earning the day to day wage to live.
Following my own advice, I have set myself goals to attain over the next six months.
First and foremost I have to learn the skills to achieve these goals successfully.
There are many sites offering short cuts to ‘fame and fortune’, how to make money fast but unfortunately with most providing the fortune option to the promoter.
But I don’t want to take short cuts. I want to build a business. A business that provides a valuable service. A business that meets the needs of the marketplace that I will be proud off.
So no short cuts.
Currently I am back in the classroom at a wonderful website that provides fantastic FREE training; Wealthy Affiliate
My background is coaching Small Business owners and start ups so that is my new venture.
Building a website that will offer advice and ideas for the Small Business owner to help make their business a success.
Whether they want to know how to set up a business, how to make an advertisement, build a business plan or just improve their process, the site;
The Small Business Hub
So, over the coming months I will be creating my new business that I hope will help some of you pursue your dreams and goals.
Will I make enough income from this new venture to retire into the peaceful environs of Bali?
Maybe not but I am pursuing a dream that gets me out of bed in the mornings and keeps me excited all day.
How are you going with your dreams?
Had coffee with a good friend today who helped me crystallise my thoughts on where I want to go with my Life.
Whilst expressing my frustrations with all the barriers in the way of me getting to where I need to be, he asked the question;
“What is holding you back?”
Of course I came up with all the reasons I couldn’t achieve what I wanted.
“Do you really want to change?”
He went straight to the issue.
Was I day dreaming or really wanting to change direction and look over the horizon.
He then reminded me of the mantra that I often quote that he retain to help him set a new course for his Life.
“If you want things you have never had, you will have to do things you have never done.”
All the obstacles I had identified were real but not insurmountable.
Sometimes we need the objective ‘friend’ to help clear the fog of our thinking and gives the insights we often have buried under all the baggage we carry around.
Nothing is holding me back from achieving my dreams other than me.
Tomorrow is the first day of the new plan to get over that horizon.
Tigress I photographed in India.
Once again I find myself taking time away from employment to contemplate the direction of my life.
What is it I want to achieve?
I know we need money to clear debt and pay the bills plus lay the foundation for retirement which is only a few years away but is that where my focus has to be?
Is it irresponsible of me to want emotional and mental harmony rather than working nine to five as a ‘good provider’ should.
Not being fulfilled in my day to day life and not having a dream that keeps me focused on a future goal has made me drift along. This has eaten away at my self esteem and relationships.
It has to change.
My focus has to be what is going to get me out of bed and stay excited about day in day out. If it only pays some of the bills then our lifestyle will have to adjust. Sacrifices will be made but my spiritual well being will winner.
My new direction.
Get off the treadmill.
Be brave – change direction.
Pursue the light.
Look after my health – spiritual, mental and physical.
Create more love for me and others in my Life.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Live Life with a song in my heart and smile on my face.
Be always Grateful.
Be eternally Grateful.
After being away from my blog for some time suffering from ‘The Black Dog’ due my inability to see how to turn my Life around after perceived setbacks, I return.
For years I hosted a radio show on Community radio and the internet, interviewing a wide range of people with positive life messages.
Yet I struggled emotionally and financially.
Everything that I tried didn’t seem to succeed and consequently the spiral started and continued for some time.
Being over 60 years old compounded my frustration to what was the my future.
At times ending it all manifested itself in my mind but little lights appeared in the form of my family and friends to make me realise taking this course would just be selfish on my behalf.
Financial pressure contributes so much mental and emotional depression.
The past twelve months have seen an improvement (still a long way to go) and has allowed me to clear my mind and be grateful for so much in my Life.
No matter how ‘tough’ I feel my Life is, 99% of the world is worse off.
Every time a cloud appears, I repeat the mantra ‘Black Dog, Black Dog’ to remind myself that the cloud has been created by me and can be dissipated by me.
Life will not always deliver what we want but that doesn’t mean Life sucks. It just means we may have to detour or strive harder to achieve our goal.
Life is good.
Keep the Black Dog on a leash.