December 20th, 2010

5 Great Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year's Eve 2010 - Valzer
New Year’s Eve is a great time to reflect on your past year, and changes you would like to make for the coming year. As New Year’s resolutions are highly personal, I won’t be providing specific resolutions. Instead, here are five ideas for you to come up with your own New Year’s resolutions.

1. Focus More on Something You Love

Is there a hobby that you love to do and are passionate about, but have been neglecting? This year, make the change. When you’re doing what you love, you are in a more passionate state of mind, and always doing your best because you enjoy what you do. You’ll often find yourself in “the flow”, a state where you lose track of time as your focus is solely on your passion. You’ll be better able to handle obstacles that come into your path because you enjoy the day-to-day activity of doing what you love.

2. Quit Something That Isn’t Working

Remember the old advice, “Winners never quit, quitters never win”? It’s wrong. In fact, winners quit often- as entrepreneur and marketing guru Seth Godin explains, “to stick with something in an absence of further progress is a waste.” Reflect on your past year. Is there something that you have put a lot of time and energy into, but still don’t end up anywhere (ex. Dead-end job)? This upcoming year, consider creating a New Year’s resolution to quit something that isn’t working.

3. Spend More Time Living in the Present

Reflect on the most enjoyable moment of your past year. Did this moment involve thinking, or were you completely focused on an activity? Chances are, you were completely focused on an activity. When you become intensely conscious of the present moment, you create a gap in thinking, in which you are highly alert and aware. Make a resolution to spend more time in the present for this upcoming year.

4. Break a Bad Habit

Do you have bad habits and behaviors that have become an automatic part of your daily routine? Over the past year, maybe some of these have even become automatic. For example, you may often wake up in the morning thinking negative thoughts, which puts you in a bad mood each morning. Or maybe you’ve created a habit or smoking on all of your work breaks. For this upcoming year, make a resolution to break a bad habit.

5. Become Happier and Stay That Way

How can you be happier and sustain it next year? Hint: Getting a raise at work or winning the lottery won’t make you happier for the long-term, as you will adapt quickly to your new circumstances. Studies have found that recent lottery winners are temporarily happier, but soon after, they adjust and are no happier than others. If we are constantly adapting to positive change in our lives, then how can we sustain an increased level of happiness over the long-term? This upcoming year, make a New Year’s resolution to become happier and stay that way.

Creative Commons License photo credit: [Icecool]

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