Balanced and ambitious goals – new year resolutions for 2015

It’s part of the rituals for the festive period: once the days of over-eating and family visits of Christmas has ended and the New Year’s hangover is over, it’s time to work on the new and improved you in 2015: New Year’s Resolutions.

Define how you’ll achieve your goals

But setting effective New Year’s Resolutions is not easy: according to psychologists, only 5% to 30% of the goals will be reached. It helps to write down your goals, to spell out as in much detail as possible how you want to achieve them, and also to think to overcome possible difficulties. For instance, if you want to spend one hour a week to learn French, it’s best to set a fixed date (say Tuesday). And in case you happen to have a dinner on one particular Tuesday, you postpone your self-study to Wednesday. It’s good to set this contingency plans in advance!

My successes in 2014

When I set my goals for 2014, I also look back at my biggest successes for 2014. This helps me to realise where I am coming from and to build upon progress made last year. Some of my successes were:

  • I fell in love
  • I developed this blog further: I launched a newsletter, wrote several articles for other outlets, and spoke on the Wellbeing Forum in Mexico
  • I was promoted at work

It also helped me realised that some successes are sometimes at quite a distance from goals: I didn’t have the goal to fall in love or get invited for big happiness conferences. But I like to think it happened as a result of a bit of good ground work and some luck!

My goals in 2015

I have set similar goals for 2015. In some I’ll succeed, in other’s I’ll fail, but they can all help me to live a balanced (and ambitious) 2015 – and hopefully they’ll contribute to my happiness! As Life Coach Hub wrote on my blog before Christmas, it’s worthwhile to set resolutions that enhance happiness.

  • Live together with the girl I feel in love with last year
  • Track and improve my sleep
  • Expand my blog
  • Work on my health by running or by yoga
  • Celebrate my 30th birthday
  • Continue to do well at work
  • Travel to two new countries: Portugal and Bhutan (finally!)
  • Watch at least one new TED talk per week
  • Read novels and books about happiness
  • Become a better public speaker

When I look at this list, it seems to be quite a lot. But the good thing is, that for most of it, I’ve found ways to integrate them in my daily and weekly life, making it more natural. I think that this is the way in which resolutions can work. Achieving a goal often is about changing a habit – eating less, quitting smoking, doing more sports. Old habits die difficultly, as I wrote last year with the help of Radiohead and a pig / in a cage / on antibiotics. If habits die difficultly, improving my sleep might be the most challenging goal on my list. I’ll keep you posted.

But first, I’ll shut down my computer. It’s getting late, and I want to sleep well this year.

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