Research conclusively proves that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. We seldom succeed in accomplishing our resolutions because we’re not really committed. Most resolutions are abandoned within three months.
At the fitness center where I exercise, you can count on crowds in January, with gradual thinning in February and March as New Year’s resolutions to exercise, lose weight, and be healthier are gradually abandoned.
We make resolutions out of guilt or as a result of being pestered by someone to improve some aspect of life, but we seldom set detailed goals and time-targets. And we usually fail to engage the well-known processes for successful goal achievement.
So rather than wasting your time and faint hopes of success with a hasty resolution, ask yourself difficult self-reflective questions, such as these suggested by Lolly Daskal.
1. Did I work toward my goals today?
Of course, this assumes you have goals for your life. Nothing stays the same, so if we don’t have self-improvement goals the changes that do occur will be random, driven by others, and unlikely to be desirable.
2. What bad habits do I need to stop?
The good news about habits is that we don’t have to think about them, we just do them; i.e. brushing teeth. The bad news is that the habits that aren’t helping us grow and improve are also occurring without our giving them any thought at all; i.e. hours of mindless TV, unhealthy snacks, etc.
3. What motivated me today?
Reflecting on your day helps you decide if the only twenty four hours you just completed were wisely utilized.
4. Have I been the kind of person I want to be?
How do you feel about yourself? Have you been the best you can be? Most of us aren’t each and every day. But knowing who you are at your best and intending to be that way each day will bring you happiness and satisfaction.
5. What mistakes did I make today, and what can I learn from them?
I suggest expanding this question from Lolly to include asking “What did I learn today, from my accomplishments and mistakes?” While we learn most from adversity, it’s good to also reflect on successful accomplishments.
6. What am I grateful for today?
Gratitude has been shown to be a significant component of a happy life. A good habit to build is to reflect at the end of the day on three things for which you are grateful and why.
Click here to read the full content of Lolly’s post, 6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself Daily.
Image courtesy Flickr user Hartwig HKD, CC Attribution License