Sunday, 4 January 2009

New Year Resolutions - Goal Setting

  • Happy New Year,

    At this time of year, it is common for people to make resolutions about the future. The mental health charity, Mind warns against this, saying that resolutions which focus on issues such as the need to lose weight or job worries create a negative self-image and if the plans fail to materialise, that could trigger feelings of failure and inadequacy. Rather they advocate thinking positively about the year to come and what you can achieve.

    The tradition of New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C.. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

    According to one website the most popular resolutions are:

    1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
    2. Fit in Fitness
    3. Tame the Bulge
    4. Quit Smoking
    5. Enjoy Life More
    6. Quit Drinking
    7. Get Out of Debt
    8. Learn Something New
    9. Help Others
    10. Get Organized

    For those following a learning journey, we should all recognise that this is not something we should do just at new year and certainly not during a moment of madness fuelled by champagne or sambuca! Rather our goals need to be considered carefully and reviewed regularly to be effective. With that in mind here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts of goal setting:

    Do Visualise your desired outcome. (What will success look like)
    Don't Start with a defeatist attitude
    Do Write down your course of action in an easy step-by-step format that can be checked off with each accomplishment
    Don't Try to memorise all of the steps as most will be forgotten
    Do Think positive all the time
    Don't Let yourself be overcome with the negatives or set backs
    Do Surround yourself in motivating factors and keep them in easy to spot locations
    Don't Forget the reason you set your goal in the first place
    Do Set your plan of action as soon as you know what you want and start right away
    Don't Put off beginning your course of action
    Do Be realistic in your setting your goals
    Don't Set your goals too high to achieve them
    Do Be specific in the goals you choose
    Don't Set goals that are too vague
    Do Learn to be organised in your thinking patterns
    Don't Let anything stand in the way of achieving your goals
    Do Make an effort to keep track of all of your achievements
    Don't Downplay your achievements, you are keeping yourself motivated
    Do Share your achievements with those around you
    Don't Let yourself get off track, stay focused on your goals!

    Best Regards,

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