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According to the results of a poll I took part in last week, a lot of people think that New Year’s resolutions are for people who don’t know any better. Some of the people polled felt that resolutions only set you up for failure; some believe that mature people know better than to make resolutions. One person that I spoke to plans to make resolutions even though she’ll ultimately fail because at least she’ll have a good January.
As the new year begins, odds are you’ll be reading or talking about resolutions no matter what philosophy of New Year’s resolutions you espouse. I like using the word “espouse” to describe thoughts and goals. It makes me stop and consider which aspirations and actions I’m really “married” to, which I’m flirting with, and which require mediation or divorce. Some of the reading I’ve done recently, about resolutions and about goals in general, leads me to think about focusing on the positive and taking small steps to accomplish goals.
5 Things to Think About in 2009
- “The secret is this: it’s ridiculously hard to focus on STOPPING anything.” – Chris Brogan
- “Stop expressing your goals and aspirations in negative terms.” – Holly Jahangiri
- “The first thing to remember is that trying to get rid of an unwanted habit is a little like trying not to think about a pink elephant. The more you try to tell yourself not to think about the elephant, the more you think about it!…Because what you focus on, good or bad, grows.” – Success for Teens by the Editors of the Success Foundation
- “A particular train of thoughts persisted in – be it good or bad – cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” As a Man Thinketh – James Allen
- “…In order to surrender your negative thoughts and statements, you have to replace them with positive ones.” – Character Makeover – Katie Brazelton and Shelley Leith
All of these thinkers point out that we act on whatever we’re most focused on. Our perceptions – positive and negative – affect our actions. As we start 2009, we should take some time to focus on ourselves and our families and to act on some concerns for people outside of our family circles. Developing positive mindsets and positive goals will help us to be more likely to achieve those goals and to realize true success. Here are my thoughts on some positive actions that you can sprinkle in with your personal “resolutions”.
5 Suggestions for Things to Do in 2009 (not just shameless plugs)
- Be nice to a caregiver – adapted from number one on Chris Brogan’s list: “Find a new way to improve someone’s day…”.There is probably someone in your world who spends a great deal of time caring for others. Do your part to help lift someone’s spirits and help avoid caregiver burnout. Show support to a caregiver virtually or in real life. Lend an ear or an hour; drop a comment on a blog — just let a caregiver know that someone cares.
- Check your sandwich situation.
Take some time now to evaluate possible opportunities and problems for your family network. Don’t wait for an accident or illness to thrust you into an evaluation of your own needs or those of your parents or children. Make sure you have a plan.
- Do a safety check. Make sure your home and your family are prepared for emergencies. If the lights go out, are your flashlights handy? Take a few minutes to check the lights.
- Plan tomorrow today. Don’t just wait and see what will happen tomorrow. Give yourself three or four tangible goals that you can accomplish each day. Plan the next day’s goals before the end of each day and write them down. Make a point of crossing them off the next day.
- Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment for crossing things off your to-do list no matter how insignificant the item may seem. Every time you set a goal and follow through on reaching that goal, you’ve succeeded. Don’t belittle or ignore your success; pat yourself on the back and prepare to achieve the next goal. You can do it!
I’m positively resolute! How about you?
5 Links to Check Out (in 2009)
- 12 Things to Stop Doing in 2009 – Chris Brogan’s post that I quoted. Be sure to check out the whole post. Writing about Twitter (or not) isn’t for everyone and I don’t know (or know if I should care) what an “inside baseball” post is, but the rest of the post has merit for all.
- 12 Things to Do (Besides Break Your New Year’s Resolutions) in 2009 – Holly Jahangiri’s response to Chris Brogan’s post.
- The SUCCESS Foundation – If you have teens, know teens, or want to help teens succeed, check out this foundation, set up by Stuart Johnson, the owner of SUCCESS Magazine. I’m reviewing the book, SUCCESS for Teens for my youth group. I think it’s definitely worth a read.
- As a Man Thinketh – James Allen’s classic available as a free download from Project Gutenberg.
- Character Makeover: 40 Days with a Life Coach to Create the Best You – Amazon link to buy the book. I’m still in the makeover process but I highly recommend the read.
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Originally posted 2009-01-02 05:28:18.