I’m reading a book about living the life you’ve always dreamed of. It’s non-fiction. The book is about dreaming outside the box and taking steps towards your passion in life. In a way, the book describes what we do with resolutions at the beginning of each new year: We have a fresh canvas of a year ahead of us and we color it with ideas on what we’d like to become or what we’d like to accomplish. The start of a new year is a great time to pursue your success story. With 2012 just a few days away, what are your dreams or New Year resolutions?
Reaching Your Goal
According to one study, men tend to be more successful when they set measurable goals. Be it pounds or money, make it quantifiable and a man is more apt to attain his goal. For most women, it’s all about a community effort. Women tend to achieve their goals when they tell everyone their New Year resolutions, then get lots of support and encouragement from their friends.
Top New Year Resolutions
I compared a number of studies to find out what Americans considered to be the most important New Year resolutions. Here is a summary of the recurring goals on people’s lists:
1. Be healthier. This includes drinking less alcohol, eating healthier foods, losing weight, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.
2. Improve finances. Managing debt and saving money would be in this category.
3. Get a better education or job.
Where to Begin
If any of your New Year goals were listed above, consider these thoughts:
1. Health. Whether it’s eating less or getting more sleep, it comes down to having healthy boundaries. Start small, but practice saying ‘no’ to indulgences that rob you in the long run. What is the goal you are aiming for? See it as being more valuable than the second helping or the late night out.
I know of three women who decided to take losing weight seriously. It took almost a year, but they shrank several dress sizes. Not only do they look phenomenal and younger, they will probably be less prone to illness or injury and live longer. How did they do it? What’s their secret? See the second paragraph above. Overeaters Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery are good support groups to consider. If you could use medical support or assistance, connect with your physician. Kaiser Permanente offers many online and on-site resources. For membership information, click Kaiser Application.
2. Finances. To have a better handle on your finances, think of picking up The Total Money Makeover book by Dave Ramsey. The man is a financial expert who survived 2 bankruptcies, bounced back to become a millionaire, and is now helping countless others get financially savvy.
3. Education/Job. What is your dream job? What would it take to get the skills set you need? Is apprenticeship an option? If schooling is required, could you fit online courses or night classes into your schedule?
Consider keeping a journal of your victories. This is you rehearsing your successes and serves as a reminder on how far you’ve come. A journal is a great tool for identifying what works and what doesn’t. If you’re not into writing, think of a creative way that works for you. Examples would be using your computer or a poster board to help you track your progress.
When all is said and done, probably the best way to reach your dreams and New Year resolutions is to keep it simple, work with a buddy, make it fun, and give yourself permission to dream big even if it means falling a few times along the way.