Keeping Resolutions: My 5-Step, Never-Before-Tried Plan
Well.. Never tried until now, anyway. (I'm trying it, and made it up myself. So far, it's working! I've tried so many things, and this year, I have a feeling I'm gonna make it. I'm gonna go places with this resolution of mine. Will your resolution make it? Stop following the vague, unhelpful tips that everyone on the Internet gives you. Try this.
Resolutions in General
1. Keep it simple.
Sure, you can aspire to be the world's greatest musician. Just don't make your resolution, 'become world's greatest musician.' You can see where the problem is, there.
Instead, say... 'Learn how to play this instrument', or 'improve my skill in this instrument.'
I made this mistake last year, by making my goal to 'send my book to a publisher.' I hadn't even completed a good first-draft. This year, I changed my resolution to 'finish first draft of book.'
Never. Be. Vague.
If your resolution is to... Lets say, improve your writing. If you leave it at that, you're leaving a question hanging in the air: how , exactly, do I do that?
What I did was make at least four bullet points under each resolution, with steps on how to complete my goal. For improving your writing, you could say, 'write every day for 10 minutes', 'do a writing exercise every few days', 'read for a half hour every day', and 'carry a notebook with you everywhere.'
You could also elaborate, by going into details of what, exactly, you want to improve. Is it your plots that are dragging? Your lifeless characters? Your grammar? Your lacking descriptions?
If you're not sure how to do you resolution, research for the first couple days. Focusing on the 'improve writing' example, after a mere hour of research, you probably would've found websites full of writing prompts, articles about improving writing, etc. If this really is your resolution, I reccomend checking out writersdigest.com.
Even if you think your resolution is so simple it's self-explanatory, always make four bullet points. I made the mistake, this year, of making the resolution to never stay up past 10:30. I thought it was too easy. You just have to do it, I told myself. The next night, at 10:30, I ignored the clock, reading the next chapter of a book, until midnight. The next day, I felt terrible. :P
3. Be realistic.
This is similar to the first tip, but equally important. This involves not making a reasonable goal, but making sure the steps you're taking to achieve it are actually possible.
Say you thought you were horribly overweight. If you wanted NOT to achieve your goal of losing weight, you would make your four bullet points 'run an hour every day', 'never eat refined sugar or meat', 'go to the gym an hour every day', and 'never go out to eat.' First of all, look at how long this is all going to take! Two hours devoted to doing extremely physical things every day. If you're overweight, you'll be sore by the second day, and give up.
Even if you were devoted to giving two hours to exercise, you have a life. You'll want to do other things, like read a book, watch a movie, hang with friends. You'll have to do other things: go to work/school for most of the day, do chores, etc.
Make a list of things you have to do every day (including around how much time you need for taking a break). Make sure your resolutions don't take up all your extra time! I'd say don't make them add up to over thirty minutes, if they're daily. Back to my resolution, finishing the first draft of my book, I would love to have time to write non stop for 30 minutes every day. It even sounds reasonable, doesn't it?
But I have to practice the piano for an hour. I have to do all sorts of stuff (including quibblo...), so I set my minimum amount of daily time spent working on my book 10 minutes. That might not sound like much, but I'm actually doing it. I suggest setting your amount of time spent on resolutions to something very low (like 10 minutes), and then you can feel good that you're actually keeping your resolution, no matter how busy you are, or tired.
You can always go over 10 minutes, but then you'll feel even better, because you're doing better than you set in your resolution. See what I mean? It's better to make your bulletpoints overly-simple than make them realistic, then fail.
If you don't think you can reach your goal in little steps, then you can always increase the amount you do each month, or something like that. :)
4. Write it Down (aka Remember.)
I have 3 resolutions written down on a piece of paper, with 4 bullet points underneath each one, tacked to my bulletin board. Every day, I pass that bulletin board multiple times, and am reminded of the specific things Im supposed to do to keep my resolutions. Then I do them. If you have a white board, bulletin board, awesome. If not, tape the paper to your wall. I you don't have walls... -_- oh, who are you kidding?
5. Do it.
I'm telling you to do it. That's just obvious, right? What's the point of this tip?!
There are certain ways of doing it right, you know. I read that you make your best decisions right after you wake up. Later in the day, you just make the easier or quicker choice. So as soon as you wake up, do it! even on school days, if your resolution is short enough, you'll be able to fit it in. Even a five-minute jog early in the morning before school can make a big difference (as I learned when we had to try to run non-stop for five minutes in health class... I didn't even make it, the first time.)
In the end, it all boils down to making yourself do it, no matter what. If you can't do that, then you won't make it with your resolution. As long as you don't procrastinate, you should be fine. ;)
Please, if you have any questions, or want me to cover a specific resolution in the next chapter, tell me! I'm going to make the next chapter all about weight loss/ being healthy.
If you see any flaws in these tips, feel free to point them out, too.