With every New Year comes New Year's resolutions: to lose weight, to quit smoking, to find true love, to go back to school to get or finish that degree, to learn a foreign language, to take a cooking class, to be a better parent/spouse, etc. Gyms and yoga studios are packed in the first few days of each January.
It all settles down pretty quickly. In a couple of weeks, we'll start to see articles about why New Year's resolutions ultimately fail. Gym and yoga studio overcrowding will pass. Blogs will get abandoned. By March, the year no longer will seem new, and the whole resolutions thing will be forgotten until year end.
I believe making lists of New Year's resolutions generally is a pointless exercise. I do, however, believe in the energy and desire for change that fuels these annual New Year's resolutions lists. But the types of changes most people wish for in their lives require planning and dedication. They are not changes that one can accomplish in a few weeks.
Change is constant. It requires diligence, planning, patience, attention to detail, measurement, tracking, determination even in the face of setbacks, and re-evaluation. Targets may need to be re-set or recalibrated. Success may need to be redefined. It's a lot of work: so much so, that most of us give up and fall back on old habits.
In order to really plan for change, you have to be willing to answer these questions:
1. What's your goal?
2. What's your plan to get there?
3. How will you measure success?
4. How will you celebrate your success?
5. What will you do to maintain your achievement?
It may take more than a single year to reach your goal, and the reward for achieving it may simply be more hard work. You lost all the weight? Now you have to keep it off. You found true love and got married? Well, good luck with that, because marriage is hard work.
If you're serious about change, make the commitment. Put it in writing. Get a planner and write down what you are going to do, every day, towards achieving that goal. And then go do it. A new year is a good time to take stock, to re-assess, to set new goals and to celebrate accomplishments. But remember, change is constant. We humans keep evolving until the day we die. As long as you're willing to do the work, you're bound to see the rewards.
In addition to being a contributor to Married my Sugar daddy; Carolyn Edgar is a lawyer, writer and divorced single mother of two who lives in New York City. She writes about raising two children alone (sometimes with the help of her ex), marriage, divorce, dating, relationships and life in general at http://carolynedgar.wordpress.com.