Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Make Resolutions and Keep Them

We make a lot of resolutions. And we break all of them.
Can you tell out loud at least one resolution that you've kept (If yes, the comments section is open and waiting for you )
By the time you rack your brains to find one such resolution, I bet you'll have found out ten resolutions you haven't kept.

Why do we make resolutions and break them?

The reason is that we don't make proper resolutions. When you make a resolution properly not only does you keep it, you will most probably end up building on the resolution. What makes a proper resolution different from an improper one?

  • Proper resolutions are made when they are least required.  Most people resolve to do things better just after doing the worst. If you're a student you will decide to start learning daily only when you do your examinations very bad.
    But if you make that resolution during holidays, then it's a proper resolution.
  • Proper resolutions come from your heart, not from someone else's. That is why most new year resolutions fail. On the new year eve, everyone is making resolutions. So, you too does and not because you want it from your heart.
    Proper resolutions are made during moments of solitude, when no one is around, and you are talking with yourself. You ask yourself who you are and who you want to be. Then you resolve to be that soul which you always wanted to be.
  • Proper resolutions are not postponed for the next day. Most probably you would have done this. You resolve to stop watching TV, not from today, but from tomorrow. Today is the last day and you go on breaking resolution today thinking that you will keep it tomorrow. The rest I need not tell.
    But when you make a proper resolution, you begin this moment. The moment you resolve you begin realising the resolution. You do not postpone it for another hour.
  • Proper resolutions are well planned.
    You just resolve to do something. You will fail.
    But you plan it in detail, how to do, what to do, when to do, for how long, where to do... A proper resolution is so well planned that the person who makes it knows exactly what he means to do.
  • Proper resolutions are properly motivated. 
 Think like you want to make a new resolution, right now? One which you have been making and breaking. Let us start together.

  1. What is it?
    Think of it. Think of why you need to do it. Think of how you can do it.
    Now clear some time in your daily schedule, and keep a time for your new habit. (If you had resolved to lose a bad habit then fill the time you used for it earlier, for something else. Read my post on getting rid of obsessions)
    Of course when you decide to do something new you will have to devote lesser time to something else. For example if you decide to exercise, you will naturally need 30 minutes to warm-up, exercise, and cool down. Your day can't go as long as 24 hours and 30 minutes. The only thing you can do is to cut short something you do daily by 30 minutes. Be it sleeping. Be it blogging. Be it chatting. You'll have to cut something short.

  2. Get going
    You've decided. Now start doing. If you can do it now, do it right now. (Of course after finished reading the next few tips). If you need a prop, get one as quickly as possible.
    But that is not enough. As I told, you need to be motivated so as to keep the momentum. So, how do you get motivated?
    Here is the most important thing to remember
    The motivation that you create by yourself won't last long. It will run out as soon as you meet the first obstacle. So, we need a never ending source of motivation. For this, I've found two extremely useful sources.
    1. The opposite sex:
      If you're a boy, think of impressing girls through what you have resolved to do. If you have started exercising, think of how having an attractive body can help you in winning their hearts.
      Not only that, have a crush on the best girl around you. By the best girl I mean the girl whom everybody wants to be a friend of. Now how can you make her feel for you? Keep those resolutions. Cultivate those enviable qualities, like an attractive body, or sharp intelligence, or sweet voice. Just exhibit those when you get a chance.
    2. Lie:
      Lie to your friends that you have already achieved your resolution. Not to go straight to him and tell "I have done this", but during conversations distantly related to your resolution, just put in your resolution and 'how you achieved it'. If you lie to someone, and if you are not a big fat liar, you would probably want to make that lie a truth. And you will actually keep the resolution. Got me?
    3. Just tell others:
      Now if you don't want to lie, you can just tell people that you've made such and such resolution. Only that it would be a little less effective. Still, when you tell others about your resolution make sure that you tell them in a tone of confidence or over-confidence. Tell them that you are going to do it and you are going to show them the results. Otherwise you will slip back.

  3. Keep the momentum
    So, you are properly motivated, and strictly keeping your resolution. Now after a week or a month, just do a review. See how much your muscles have grown, how good you can sing, how good you are with people,...
    If you are on the right track, the results will possibly be what you expected. And those results will in turn motivate you to keep doing things.
    Don't worry if you don't find any results. Think of what you could have missed, where you could have gone wrong. Rectify those errors. And start from step 1.
If these steps do not work for you, there is one last resort I would recommend you - similar minded people. Find online groups doing what you intend to do. Hear from people who have already done it.  And you will probably know why you've been failing.

So, happy resolving. (OK! It's over, now you can start from step 1, what is it?)

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Nipun said...

before reading your post I made a resolution ,I decided to study at least 5 hours a day.but this resolution -i made it during the exam period.I didn't make it bcoz my results were or would be bad .i dont know whether it's from my heart or not.
And about girls .Hm.. they r helpful.
And I think u wrote it from experience!!!

Akshay S Dinesh said...

Yeah man! How did you find it.

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