It’s that time of year for setting your New Year’s resolutions. If 2014 is like other years, after a few hours, days, weeks (depending on how it works for you) you promptly forget you even made any resolutions. Not only that, but you just made the same resolution 3 years in a row, so why is it going to be any different this time?
Most of us start our New Year filled with hope that it will be better than the year before. There is no intention to fail at our resolutions or anything else we try to achieve during our year. Chances are you probably have had a few wins in 2013. In fact if you take a moment to reflect on last year you would probably be able to think of several achievements you are proud of. I encourage you to think about what went well, what you learnt, what you might do differently, and what experiences you are grateful for. Being able to do this is one of the skills of resilience.
Here are some characteristics of resilience that may help you with preparing to identify your new year’s resolutions :
1. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of a struggle.
2. Move toward your goals. Ask yourself every day, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?”
3. Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.
4. Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
5. Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Seeking additional support from a professional when required is also an important part of making connection.
Whatever your New Year’s resolutions or goals for 2014, be kind to yourself. Things won’t always go to plan, and sometimes you might fall off the wagon, so treat yourself with the same kindness you would treat a good friend. If your New Year’s resolutions are a re-occurring theme for you, consider seeking additional help. Being kind to ourselves and caring for ourselves is one of the biggest changes we can make towards success and making 2014 different.