Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 tips for finishing your New Year's resolutions

I don't know why we do this to ourselves. Every year at this time we lie to ourselves by establishing goals and making promises that, deep down, we know we'll never keep. Every year the ever traditional New Year's resolution is declared for one reason or another. For me it's something to shoot for, a to do list of sorts. It always start out the same way too, nice and strong with high expectations and loads of enthusiasm that quickly dwindles down to a fond shimmer of a distant memory halfway through the year.

This past year was the same. I had my list of goals I hoped to accomplish that ended up being shuffled to the bottom of the list. The reality of day to day living, work, commitments, excuses and other distractions seem to wend their way into the middle of things, disrupting that nice initial surge of determined commitment.

Then, like a slap to the back of the head, the end of the year creeps up harshly reminding me that everything I had planned for the previous year never got done. The guilt sets in, the proverbial head smack or kick to the ass is made and a new set of seemingly realistic goals is made. The cycle starts anew.

Happy New Year!

Well, this time I have made solid moves forward to get some of last year's goals accomplished for this coming year. I am renting a large space for a studio which means I will need to keep certain aspects of my photography work in the forefront in order to pay for the space. Hopefully it becomes a self perpetuating motivator since I desperately needed to get into a large studio space.

This year I'm going to implement a few tips I've picked up over the past few months. I'd like to share them with you in case you're in the same boat I am about keeping resolutions.
  1. Keep your resolutions realistic: Don't set goals that are guaranteed to fail or you know deep down you will never finish. I know I'll never be president of the US so that's one resolution I would never make. Kidding aside, the more far fetched a goal the more likely it will be you won't achieve it.
  2. Break them down into achievable parts: Even the best intentioned plan will loose steam if the goal begins to feel too daunting. Fortunately even the most daunting resolution can be tamed by breaking it down into easy to accomplish tasks. Breaking a large project into easy to achieve tasks helps create a road map of sorts. An easy-to-follow guide to achieving the larger success.
  3. Stay focused: It's too easy to become distracted or make excuses. Use whatever technique you need to keep your goals on track. Lists are something I make for myself. Others have set deadlines on a calendar while others have set a reward system for themselves when they accomplish a task.
  4. Get others involved: Having accomplices in attaining a goal helps on several levels. At the least, you have someone to help motivate you or keep you on track. At most, it can be someone to help carry the load or when things start getting tough. Getting help when things get hard is one of the best ways of ensuring a task gets done.
  5. Be flexible: There are no sure things in live. Murphy's Law will always show itself at the most inopportune time and with larger projects it usually shows up sooner than later. Having a plan B is nice but learning to negotiate obstacles as they happen keeps your project on track and builds experience. Don't let setbacks derail you and before long the goal you set for yourself will get accomplished.
So what are some of the ways you've found that helps you finish those New Year's resolutions you've set for yourself?

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