Start the year on a positive note | Sunday Observer

Start the year on a positive note

5 January, 2020

‘Start 2020 with celebrations and end it with celebrations’. what does this mean? It’s the feeling of success that grows the desire in you to chase bigger goals to achieve bigger success.

While you may have had mixed results it’s vital that you reflect on all positive results achieved and be rewarded with that ‘feeling of success’. When you start the year on a positive note of that nature, the inner inspiration you gain will drive you towards achieving bigger successes – so you can celebrate more meaningfully at the beginning of the year.

Past practice dictates that every year, you should try to kick bad habits away and start your life anew. What kind of New Year resolutions will you make for yourself for this new year? All I know for sure is that you resolve to improve every year when you make a fresh start.

It almost seems like we can start all over, finally become that successful, wonderful, productive, healthy, happy person we’ve always wanted to be. However, the problem with the start of a new year is that most good intentions are often derailed within a few days or weeks.

Rail along the track and not derail

The trouble is, the enthusiasm to make changes, fades when we realise we can’t change everything overnight or it takes a hard effort to realise them. If you want to make lasting changes, there are three things you can do to make your resolutions work all year long: Correct your attitude, embrace the right lifestyle and be committed to achieving the resolution.

Why do people abandon their resolutions halfway? One reason is that we become discouraged when results don’t come quickly enough or easily, or when we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them. Behavioural change requires sustained effort and commitment. It is also typically accompanied by physical and mental discomfort.

For example, reducing food, working or studying longer hours and taking less sleep from a level to which you have become accustomed to. What does this mean? How do you measure this? Resolutions also fail because they are vague and impossible to measure. One could resolve to be a nicer person, but what does that mean? How would anyone know when and whether that goal had been reached? A better resolution would be to pay a compliment to one person each day.

Make a goal that can be reached in one year. This guideline is especially important for gifted kids, who tend to have quite lofty goals, often beyond what they could achieve in one year. Of course, if a child goes beyond a goal in less than one year, that’s fine. The idea is just to make sure the goal set is not impossible to reach.

Writing down the resolution and the plans to make it happen is important because it helps you remain focused and will serve as a reminder of the resolution.

It also makes the plan more formal, not just a passing thought on New Year Day.

Creating a plan and writing it down can help understand how to set goals and find ways to reach them. Find alternatives to a behaviour that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan.

So you want to quit night clubbing, but you have been doing it to relax yourself or be with friends? What other forms of relaxation are available to you? Look at the alternatives to choose the ones that have more positives. Not activities that have more negatives than positives.

Above all, aim for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you. After all it’s your life, your vision, your goal, your effort and your success that’s primary.

It’s not being selfish but accepting the reality that if you fail you cannot help others. Be determined to be successful this new year. Make 2020 the best year ever for you and all Sri Lankans.