5 Tips To Making Successful New Year Resolutions

A big hello to everyone!

I’m officially back to my work desk after enjoying the winter holidays with my family and taking time off for my personal retreat. And the first thing I thought I’ll do is to write a blog entry for you, my readers.

What did I do over the last few days? Well, I took a retreat of sorts and used this time to reflect, rejuvenate and plan for the year ahead…all in the comfort of my humble home. 

And believe me, it has proved to be an exciting process as how often do we really have our personal space and time? This is sacred as only when we devote quality time to ourselves will we continue to grow.

For many of us, it is customary to make New Year resolutions pledging to change our lives for the better. But even before you sit down and pen down your resolutions for the new year ahead, have you even taken time to ponder and taken stock of where you are currently?

We should never be like a headless chicken running in any direction just because someone said it was good. Instead, do a careful stock-take of our current situation, and then analyze the gap between the current and the ideal.

While it is a common practice for many to make New Year resolutions, have you ever wondered why many have let them lapse after a few missteps?
This was the chief reason one of my clients shared with me on why he gave up making New Year resolutions years ago, because the promise to keep them was forgotten the minute they were made.

To make things simple and this blog post a breeze to digest, let me share 5 key areas to making your New Year resolutions much more meaningful so you will not be kicking yourself again come 31 Dec 2012.

1. There Is No Wealth Without Good Health

A lot of people fail to recognize the fact that staying healthy is the most important asset to possess. No matter how good you may be at work, or in investing, it will amount to nothing if your health fails you.

Just like how we plan appointments for dinners with our friends, meetings with our colleagues, luncheons with our suppliers etc; so too in the same vein do you pencil down (either in your smart phone or on your diary) your exercise schedule. 
The number one rule to good health is simple – exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time.

2. Family Is The Thread That Binds 

Life is so unpredictable that is advisable to start appreciating the people around you, especially your family. 

Do not wait until someone in your family is stricken with an incurable disease before you start showing care and concern. We are not growing younger as each day goes by.

Personally, I make it a point to eat at least thrice a week with my family as we catch up on the small episodes that occur in our lives. Strangely but truly, it’s a very Asian thing to bond over meals. And what better way to bond with your own family?

3. Be True To Yourself
In our eagerness to challenge ourselves, we will many a times overplan believing we are Superman or Wonder Woman. The truth is…we are not.

Instead of writing down ten or more New Year resolutions, trim down the list to only your top five. Five is a much more manageable number. If you recall, I spoke about setting SMART New Year resolutions. And just in case you forget, this is a New Year resolution list. This is not your bucket list.

4. Learn A New Hobby
Just like muscles have memory and will stop growing if we subject them to the same exercise and weight, so too will our personal growth stop should we go about doing the same chores over and over again. In short, break out of your current routine and embark on a new adventure of sorts. This new year is the perfect time for you to pick up a new hobby. It could be anything and run the gamut of baking, mountaineering to photography and a new language.
I hate to be too frank sometimes but I have to. The day we stop learning is the day we start to degenerate.
5. Find Your Own Happiness

There is no secret to the art of happiness. You hold that sacred art in your own hands. You breathe and create your own happiness via your own thoughts, feelings, actions and results. If you are unhappy with your current job (despite its high pay), it’s time to consider leaving and pursuing your own passions.

Life is too short to be living someone else’s dreams and becoming what our parents or elders expect us to become. 

Only when you start living your own life according to your own terms will you unlock the gates and bask in happiness unparalleled.