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Failed New Year resolution? December 29, 2008

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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7 common reasons people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions

The New Year by papamackie on Flickris a good time to set new resolutions. You feel fresh and having a chance to start things anew in the coming year provides motivation as you embark on new challenges. However, I know many people who have given up on setting New Year’s resolutions entirely because “it doesn’t work for them“. Inevitably, the resolutions they set are forgotten and never acted on. The result is feelings of guilt and incompetence and they conclude that they are simply not disciplined enough to follow through on their resolutions.

I have been setting New Year’s resolutions for the past 6 years. This yearly exercise has contributed much to improving my life as it gives me a sense of direction. In my opinion, accomplishing New Year’s resolutions is possible for everyone. It has nothing to do with discipline. You just need the right technique.

Based on my observations, here are some common reasons why people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. I hope you will take note of them when setting and following through on yours.

  1. Too Many Big Resolutions
    Are you too greedy with your resolutions? Some resolutions like losing weight, learning a new skill or training for a marathon can take months to achieve. If there are too many big ticket resolutions like these, you may be stretching yourself too thin over the year and having too little time/energy left to do well in any of them. My suggestion is to have only 2 to 3 big ticket resolutions and less than a dozen small resolutions in your resolution list. Spread your big-ticket resolutions across the year so that big ticket resolutions don’t happen within the same period. This is especially true if you have a day job and you are using free time to work on your resolutions.
  2. Not Personalizing Your Resolutions
    Why do you want that resolution? What does it mean to you to achieve it? How will you feel when you do achieve it? If you don’t have very clear answers to the above answers, chances are you don’t want it badly enough to sustain your efforts over the year. To achieve a goal, even in face of obstacles and challenges, you may want it badly enough for you to pay the price in time and effort to pursue it. This means you need to be crystal clear about the significance of your resolutions. Otherwise, it’s very easy to just find an excuse to wriggle yourself out of the resolution and forget about it.
  3. Not Writing Them Down
    To be crystal clear about your resolutions, it helps to write them down. If you haven’t tried this before, do it immediately after reading this article. Try to write down your resolutions, describe it in details, and state why you want it. I’ll bet you my last dollar that you will not be able to write everything down in one go. Why? Simple, because desires and thoughts are always vague ideas to start from.If you don’t write down your resolutions, they will always remain as vague ideas. Vague ideas equal vague plans and that equals poor results. While you cannot crystallize your resolutions in one go, take some time and have a few sessions to do it. As long as you give it enough thoughts, it will get clearer with each try.
  4. You Can’t See Your Resolutions Everyday
    Even if you write down your goals and crystallized them, you can still forget about them; humans are forgetful creatures. Put your resolutions in a place where you will be able to see them frequently. In so doing, you will create a physical environment where you are less likely to forget your resolutions due to other urgencies that crop up during the year. For me, I like to keep my resolutions in MS Outlook where I will see them each day as I access my emails.
  5. Not Reviewing Your Resolutions Periodically
    Not only must you be reminded of your resolutions, you must review them periodically to check your progress. Do you know that when pilots fly their planes they need to periodically check and adjust their flight path due to prevailing, changing air conditions? It’s the same with achieving resolutions. If you didn’t go according to your plans, why not? Did something new crop up during the year? Maybe your plan was too aggressive? Check progress and re-calibrate – this will ensure you stay on course. As long as you do this often enough (perhaps monthly), you have a good chance of staying on course.Even if you don’t achieve 100% of your resolutions by the end of the year, you will achieve at least 70% to 80%. That’s still way better than giving up on your resolutions which equals to achieving only 0%.
  6. Keeping Your Resolutions To Yourself
    Do you know why people are afraid of making promises? It’s because they are afraid of putting themselves on the line. It’s the same with resolutions. After you have written down your resolutions, announce them to your family and friends. Put yourself on the line by making your resolutions known and make it a promise to yourself to achieve them. It’s may not be a comfortable feeling because you have just made yourself publicly accountable for your own results. You may not want to do it; but look at it this way – if you are not even willing to put yourself through this bit of discomfort for your resolutions now, how much will you be willing to put in for your resolutions later in the year?
  7. Not Having A Support Group
    Achieving your resolutions does not need to be an individual affair. From my experience, you will stand a much greater chance of success if you have family and friends who support your cause. It doesn’t help if you are trying to lose weight and your family is having fast food for dinner everyday. And it doesn’t help if you are trying to be an early riser but your family goes to bed way past midnight.Talk to people in your life about what you are trying to achieve and see how they can give you both moral and tangible support.

With these pitfalls in mind, I hope you are in a better position to achieve your resolutions in 2008. Have a Happy New Year and may all your wishes come true!

by Lawrence Cheok

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This an re-visit of Murphy’s Law of failed New Year resolution

This is typically the time of the year when people start of making predictions or begin to consider some ill fated New Year resolutions.

I thought for a change this year, in the spirit of the season, and to avoid the inevitable resolution failure, I’d try and help others to keep their resolutions.

Whenever I chat with PR students or practitioners on “New PR” or PR 2.0 or whatever, the most common question I get in all these sessions is “how can I get started?”.

It’s a great question.

So I thought that I’d provide some entry-level advice on how to get started.

I’m very confident that I’ll miss something so feel free to add more in the comments.

Here’s my attempt at providing some common sense advice to those PR brethren who wish to get more involved.

The 8 Steps

1) Invest

To paraphrase my late grandmother: “you don’t lick knowledge off a stone”.

If you want to find out and understand “New PR”, you will need to commit some time.

Obviously you’re busy, we are all busy, nevertheless this is the time to invest.

2) Explore

Fire up your web browser.

Use your favourite search engine and search for PR, blogs, blogging, social media etc.

Start with some of the links on the left hand side of this page – sorry that’s my left and your right. -)

Browse the PR blog indices, for example Todd Andrlik’s (and Ad Age’s) Power 150 (#237 and still sinking) or Brendan Cooper’s PowerPR index.

3) Learn

image There are some new things to understand and learn, but there is nothing a four year old can’t master so don’t worry.

Learn how to use RSS and see how it can boost your productivity. Learn how to keep track of the blogosphere or mainstream breaking news without losing your sanity.

Learn what social networking is about.

Understand why people blog and how consumers are using these tools.

Listen to podcasts.

4) Participate

The fastest way to understand this stuff is to get involved.

Set up a page on Facebook, start a blog – if you’re nervous about blogging about your practice or your business, blog about a hobby or something you’re interested or passionate about.

Read RSS feeds

Post a video

Comment on a podcast

5) Research

Good communications is all about the audience.

That doesn’t change from traditional to online Public Relations.

Want to understand how new media will impact your clients?

Talk to their customers.

Find out how they are using social media – you might be surprised and at the very least you’ll be better educated.

6) Experiment

Want to know if these new tools can help you do a better job reaching and communicating with your audience?

Try them.

Try a controlled experiment.

Start small… but start.

7) Measure

The beauty of online communications is the opportunity to measure the impact of your activity.

Measure visitors, incoming links, subscribers, members….

Measure the impact of your experiment and let those results drive its direction.

8) Breathe

There’s a lot of hype about the changing world of communications.

Don’t panic.

Communications is changing, but not as fast as many of the online digerati will have you believe.

Traditional media and traditional Public Relations will remain the centre of your business for the foreseeable future, but the online element is growing and more importantly might help you communicate more effectively today.

Try it. Jump in.

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