More Than Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe it’s 2010 already when it seems like just yesterday that we were all holding our breath as we waited for the clock to strike midnight and ring in Y2K.

But here we are. January 1st, 2010. A day of new beginnings. Resolutions. Hopes and goals for a better future.

There is something powerful about the idea of starting fresh in a new year. We could start fresh any day of the year, and really, there’s nothing that makes today too much different from any other day on the calendar, but because it is the start of a new year, millions of people take this chance to make resolutions for the things they want to accomplish this coming year.

Unfortunately, it’s often said that less than 25% of people ever achieve the resolutions they set.

Why is that? Let’s look at some common reasons resolutions fail:

1. We think of resolutions as a lofty, unachievable goal.

New Year’s resolutions have long been the butt of many jokes precisely because so few people follow through with them. How often do we make a resolution with no real intention of achieving it? It would be nice to achieve, but we don’t really think it will happen, so we declare our resolution on January 1st, think about it for a few minutes on January 2nd, and by January 3rd it’s already been pushed aside by the more pressing matters of life.

2. We set resolutions without a real plan for achieving them.

Without a plan, your resolution is all but doomed for failure. It’s almost impossible to achieve a goal — any goal — without a plan, and resolutions are no different. But creating a plan involves more work than most of us want to put in for these things called resolutions. After all, if we’re not going to achieve it anyway (see #1), why should we waste time planning for it?

3. We make resolutions too broad and they quickly become overwhelming.

When we take the time to really reflect on the things we want to change in our lives, we often come up with dozens of big, broad goals that distract us from really focusing on any one goal and leave us overwhelmed and discouraged in the process. Saying that you want to “get healthy” in 2010 sounds great, but what does that really mean? Do you want to exercise more? Improve your diet? Drink more water? Lose weight? Go organic?

Rather than spouting off three to five PC-friendly resolutions that you have no hope for really accomplishing, take some time to really reflect on what you’d like to change in 2010. Tsh from Simple Mom has a wonderful list of questions for taking stock of your resolutions, including a printable worksheet. Narrow down your resolutions to the most important and make focused, measurable goals.

We’ll be talking about creating a plan to make your resolution a reality all month here at Organizing Your Way as we focus on 31 popular resolutions. But even if your resolution isn’t on the list, read along to get an idea for how to create a plan that lasts rather than a resolution that is quickly forgotten.

What are your resolutions and goals for 2010? Do you usually make resolutions? Do you usually keep them?

The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard. Make 2010 the year you get organized and achieve your goals with the Life & Goal Organizer, the ideal system for organizing your goals, plans and life!