Tips for keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on by Nancy Slessenger This entry was posted in Brain, Grapevine, Learning, Objectives, Planning, SMART Goals, SMART Objectives, SMART targets, Time Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?


It’s the New Year. Time to take the decorations down and  check if you kept your New Year’s Resolutions from last year.



Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions? If not, why not?


If you are one of those people who can’t even remember what your resolutions were, you may want to ask yourself why you set them in the first place. You may have decided to tackle something quite difficult like stopping smoking or losing a few pounds.


The trouble with these kinds of resolutions is that unless you include some new ways of behaving, you are likely to fail at an early stage.


One of mine this year was to try 52 new recipes over the year. I’m proud to say that I have achieved it. I’ve been publishing the recipes on our FaceBook page each week.



Was it a success?


My long-term goal in doing this was to get some new ideas for our meals that would be part of our regular menu. I also I hoped I would learn something and have some fun. I certainly achieved all of that.


Sundried Tomato and Rosemary Palmiers

Sun-dried Tomato and Rosemary Palmiers from Lorraine Pascale’s recipe

Not every recipe was a success, but just the act of trying out new recipes was extremely successful. I found myself trying all kinds of new things that otherwise I would not have tried.


I kicked off with Heston Blumenthal’s Steak and Kidney Pudding, which was a two-day job. However, as it was a one-off special event for my husband’s birthday, I didn’t mind too much. He loved it.



Lavender and Honey Cake

Other recipe highlights include


Moroccan Chickpea Soup, Lavender Honey Cake, Chocolate Sauce for Strawberries, Butternut Squash Soup, Sanwin Makin, Lamb Biryani, Sun-Dried Tomato and Rosemary Palmiers and Marzipan Chocolates.



Should New Year’s Resolutions be SMART?


Of course all SMART objectives and SMART goals are much more likely to be successful than vague targets. So, yes!



Do your research


Before you set one of these challenging (but very worthwhile) goals, identify some options for achieving it.


I quite deliberately didn’t decide to do a new recipe every week because I knew I’d be off travelling or on holiday for several weeks. So instead I made it a total of 52 and made sure I could get ahead or catch up if necessary. This weekend I tried five new recipes. Three were very good, one was awful and one was OK.



Find out what really makes the difference


Here’s a great example of how one long-term objective was achieved. My father was head (principal if you are in the US) of a school for 22 years. During that time there was a period of years when they won all the relay races in the athletics meetings.


It was during the tenure of a particular sports teacher. You may imagine that the teacher spent all his time helping his students to run faster. But you would be wrong. Whilst he did help the students in their running, his main focus was in handing over the baton.


It seems that most relay teams at that age simply drop the baton or hand it over badly, so losing vital seconds (or minutes in same cases). They spent much of their time practicing this part of the race and reaped the benefits.



Avoid temptation


It’s very tempting to make assumptions and dive headlong into a goal without researching and planning. I have come across many people who like to do this. In behaving this way they often cause a great deal of extra work for others and, just as importantly, fail to achieve their goals, or keep their New Year’s Resolutions.



Start thinking now


So if you are the kind of person who likes to set New Year’s Resolutions, let me urge you to start thinking about them now (if you haven’t already) and to work out a sensible plan. It may be you even allow yourself the whole of January (and possibly February) to do this. That’s OK. I guarantee that you will find the results are much better than simply dashing in.


And good luck with them – whatever you choose.


Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year in 2013.


To get help working out your New Year’s Resolutions, get this booklet, “How to Write Objectives That Work”. New Year’s Resolutions are just objectives.

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