I think New Year’s Resolutions are a really crap way to make positive changes to the way you live.
Why? Well, I reckon it’s much more effective to start doing something than to stop doing something.
Most New Year’s Resolutions seem to revolve around giving something up. So, on the first of January this year, I’d like to propose something a little different. Let’s say you want to lose weight and get fit. A big cliché, but definitely a common desire!
If that’s you, don’t bother promising to eat less chocolate and start running every morning. Instead, set yourself a big, tangible target for way off in the future. Look right now for an event near you in the following summer or autumn — charity fun-run, duathlon, triathlon or Ironman. Aim high, put the date in your calendar, and start training. Once the event comes around, if you’ve committed yourself, you’ll have achieved that weight loss and fitness as a by-product.
Having something on which to focus is something I’ve found to be really important if you want to achieve something bigger, even if you have to mentally ‘invent’ that point of focus. When I had tough days on the bike, I used to visualise my girlfriend (now wife!) standing on the horizon with a big smile on her face. I know that’s vomit-inducingly corny, but it got me across the Sahara!
I think you can apply this change of perspective to almost anything. Set yourself a target for the end of 2010 while you’re seeing in the New Year.