To your dreams in 2007 - Resolutions for the New Year

Your resolutions – introduction

As we start 2007, I would like to propose a toast. So wherever you are and whatever you are doing – stop! Get yourself a drink. It doesn’t matter what drink – water, wine, juice or munkoyo is fine. Grab that drink and let’s toast: “To your dreams in 2007!”

Okay, now that we have drank to your dreams, may I ask what those dreams are for 2007? Maybe I should have asked that before the toast.

Anyway, if you did a poll or asked people what their New Year’s resolutions were they would mention any one of the following things:spend more time with family and friends, get fit, lose weight, quit smoking, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get out of debt, learn something new, help others, reduce stress, get a better job.

Countless surveys, including those done by the US government, have found these to be the most common resolutions. I would guess that people in Zambia are not an exception to this. One very interesting thing about them is that very few are about getting wealthy or making money as such. The majority are about the things that we neglect to do, for ourselves as well as for others.

Your resolutions – your goals for 2007

This is not about statistics, before I digress. It’s about you and your goals for 2007. Hopefully you have made them already. Haven’t you? Then do it now. Write it down. I have found that there is nothing as powerful as writing down your goals at the beginning of the year.

When you put your goals in writing at the beginning of the year they take on a new significance and power. Especially if the goals are accompanied by a picture depicting the outcome you want. Think of it as your pictorial guide or encyclopedia for the rest of the year. Your mind catches on to it and directs you to attain those goals during the remainder of the year, if you are committed to them.

However, if you do not write things down, it is almost certain you will not achieve them. You will have given your mind nothing to work with and nothing to focus on. The pressures of life will distract you and a month or two down the line you will be back doing the routine things of life. Your dreams will likely be tossed in the pending tray.

Your resolutions – make this your best year ever

It doesn’t have to be that way. Every year can be better than the previous year. It should. That is my philosophy. Whatever happened last year, you should expect and reach out for more. Why? Because you can make it happen.

Before you go overboard and write down humongous goals that may only lead you to disappointment and frustration, take a moment to think about what you should write.

Firstly, focus on realistic and achievable goals with measurable results. This is where you either make it or break it. If you are a 2 packet-a-day smoker who has been at it for twenty years, for example, do not say you will quit smoking at midnight on New Year’s Eve! Take it easy. Make it realistic and achievable. You could, for instance, cut down to 1 and half packets a day, then 1 packet a day in the first few months and finally to half a packet after which you can move on to wearing a nicotine patch.

Creating unrealistic goals can make you feel frustrated and disempowered when you realise the first day or two that you just cannot do it. Actually that’s a major reason a lot of goals, not just New Year’s resolutions, are not achieved.

You need to break things down into small steps that you can manage. This will greatly boost your confidence and you will fell empowered and capable of achieving your goals once you are able to fulfill the smaller steps that are required to get there. It also helps to break a big task into smaller steps because then your mind will be able to see them as attainable and not quite as daunting.

Your resolutions – get started right away

Speaking of goals being daunting, one reason people don’t ever start working on their goals, even after they have made them is that they wait to get motivated before they do so. Dr. Hinda Dubin argues that “action precedes motivation, not the other way around. Once you initiate an action - the smallest of actions - you pick up momentum and you'll realize 'hey, this isn't so bad' and it will be a lot easier to keep moving forward, and to stay motivated." So take action now. There is never a more perfect time to do something about it than now.

Now is also a good time to tell someone about your resolutions. It should be someone you trust and someone who will encourage you rather than discourage you. Such a person can help you to keep on track when you go off-course. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell someone else, especially if you fear that you might fail. If you choose the right person this should not be a problem. They may actually feel honored that you told them out of so many others you could have told and they may end up being a great shoulder to lean on.

Having such a friend can be very important during setbacks. Which brings me to my next point: you should view setbacks as opportunities for growth. Sometimes along the way you might fall a couple of times. That’s okay. Pick yourself up and learn your lessons.

What did you do wrong? What could you do better? It is often said that the only place where the shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line is in mathematics. In life, you have to zigzag your way through to get to point B. Unexpected things may happen, you just have to adjust and keep focused on your destination.

Your resolutions – it’s should be up to you

Finally, do not be pressured into doing something because someone else wants you to do it. Your goals for 2007 should be something you really desire to change or achieve. Then you will be more likely to succeed. Take on this year with a fresh enthusiasm and all the faith, courage, determination, persistence and energy you can muster. 2007 can be your best year ever. Decide to make it one.As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

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This article is published with the permission of Post Newspapers Limited.

Other Books By Dr. Moses:

Power Principles For Purposeful Living

"Powerful And Life-Changing Lessons On How To Maximise Your Potential And Live Your Dreams"

Power Principles For Purposeful Living_Dr Moses Simuyemba

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Power Principles for Fearless & Abundant Living

"How To Let Go of Fear and Embrace Prosperity"

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In the POWER PRINCIPLES series of books, Dr. Moses Simuyemba, "Africa's Success Coach", shares his knowledge, experience and insight to help you in overcoming your personal challenges and limitations and inspire you towards the life you desire and deserve: a life of greater purpose, free of fear and full of abundance.