New Year Resolutions: Turning vows to deeds

Tips to help you get the most out of what you want to achieve

In Summary

• Do not look back with regret but forward with determination to do what you say


Well, here we are again, ladies and gentlemen. Another January 1 is upon us. That means while the earth has gone full circle around the sun, we have lost 365 days that were opportunities to get us closer to our goals. Coulda shoulda woulda!

No sense in beating ourselves up over missed opportunities because New Year’s Eve ushers in a fresh starting point for everyone. A fresh starting point for the earth as it continues its journey around the solar system, and a fresh starting point for those of us who missed out on accomplishing our last year’s resolutions.

Over the last few years, we have discussed several aspects of writing New Year’s resolutions: how to write them, how to make them more feasible, and to how to make them adjustable due to unforeseen events (thanks, 2020).

This year, I would like to take a fresh approach to how we can achieve what we aspire to be or do in the year 2022. Before we get all excited to start afresh and set out a number of goals to achieve this year, let us take a step back and re-evaluate.

New Year resolutions are often confused as desires rather than individual goals. Making resolutions should not be like wishing on a star. They should be clear, intentional and more importantly, achievable objectives we aim to accomplish.

The purpose of writing down a New Year resolution list is to keep yourself on a path towards attaining these goals. They can be short-term goals aimed at attaining long-term ones. By writing our aspirations of the year, we have taken the first step towards aspiration. The next important step is action. Without action, the words will remain as ink on paper.

How do we prepare ourselves for action? Well, the answer is pretty easy. We just need to start. However, to keep moving might be an entirely different thing. This is why we keep losing morale by mid-year.

This year, we have summarised a few methods and steps that will put you on the right path of action so you are one step closer to your goal. As we dive into the New Year ready for all the prosperity it will bring, let us prepare to dive into the work it takes to make dreams a reality.

Let us make 2022 an action year.

Luckily, for those who fail at seeing their resolutions through, there is always a way to achieve your desired goal. Through a carefully curated plan for action, there is a way to achieve your goals. Here are some easy steps to turn the written hopes into fruition.

1. Aim for what is in your control

The first thing to note is that New Year’s resolutions are not wishes! Avoid writing down things you desire but are not 100 per cent in your control. Ambiguous things like “I want to find love” or “I want to get a promotion” are unrealistic goals as they are determined by external forces that are out of our control. You cannot achieve what you can’t control. Only work towards achieving what you are capable of. For instance, since we have no say as to who gets a promotion at work, this desire of being promoted can be broken down into achievable goals of increasing productivity and being more assertive.

2. Have a game plan

Every coach, every war commander and every successful person have one thing in common: a game plan. When you have already figured out where you want to go, the next thing to work on is the route there. Asking yourself “How will I achieve this goal?” enables one to envision and determine the strategy that will bring you closer to your goal. The game plan is driven by the actions that will take you from point A to point B.

3. Learn from past mistakes

We have all made New Year resolutions that have not worked in the past. This should not put you off your goal. If anything, you might be closer to achieving it than you know. If you analyse the reason why you failed in achieving the same goals over and over again, then you have learnt an important lesson from failure. In learning how to achieve something, we inadvertently also learn what not to do. There is an important quote on failure that states, “I have not failed, I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

4. Start when you are ready

Just because we have set a goal that we need to achieve this coming year does not mean we should start it on the first day of the first month of the year. Starting anything is not easy, it requires mental and physical preparation. To say you will start on January 1 is to start prematurely and without preparedness. Which can lead to easy fail or giving up.

5. Track your progress

The only way to know you are on course to achieving your goals is to establish a method that quantifies your improvement. One can only be certain they are making headway on their resolutions if they have a way of determining their progress. To know we are headed towards the goal, we need to know how far we have come and how much further we have to go.