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“If you fail to plan – you plan to fail”

This an age old saying . It is a common saying but one that no one really take seriously when it comes to their New Years Resolutions. Failing to plan is probably the biggest reason for not keeping to all your resolutions. Can you even remember what your 2012 resolutions were?

At the time of writing – roughly 11am (South African time) – there are already a huge number of people breaking their resolutions already. if you listen to peoples resolutions – they are generally vague and have no plan to them at all. I am sure you have heard (or said) one of the following:

  • Eat more healthily
  • Go to gym (more)
  • Stop drinking alcohol
  • Save more money
  • Read the Bible (more)
  • Lose 10kg (or more)
  • Stop smoking
  • etc etc

All of those are often broken by about mid-January and causes quite a lot of stress, strain and creates a depressed feeling for the person who said it and the people around them. Disappointment is a huge feeling that hangs around this topic – most people have never kept a resolution through to its end, hence the topic not a happy and exciting one.

So what can you do this year (there is still time) to make sure your resolutions stick?

Write your resolutions down.

  • A resolution will be nothing more than that if it is not written down.

Be specific

  • Go to gym more – too vague!
  • Go to gym twice a week from 5 – 6pm – much better!

Be realistic

  • I enjoy cycling. I would love to make a resolution of cycling 6 000 km in 2013. This however works out to an average of about 120km per week. This is at least 20km per week further than I have ever gone before so there is very little chance of it happening. The more realistic target would be 5 000km at an average of just under 100 km per week.

Do not change who you are

  • Stay true to who you are. Do not change you but rather what you do.
  • If you love chocolate, do not say “I will give up all chocolate products” because that not who you are.
  • Do not have a resolution because everyone else is doing it.

Add 2 columns top the right of the resolution.

  • Plan
    • You have to plan.
    • When I go cycling – I have to plan it because I have the early morning shift with my daughter. I have to discuss it with my wife so she can be awake if necessary. This is not permission to go cycling though.
  • Action taken
    • This is for as you start with your plans – writing you actions will encourage you. You can also look back at what works for you and what does not.

     

So what are your resolutions for 2013.  Let me know how you are going to achieve them!


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Step 1

Fill your mind with positive things. Read encouraging, affirming books and listen to upbeat, happy music. Think about happy memories or things you have to look forward to rather than bad things that have happened or things you dread.

Step 2

Develop yourself spiritually. Research shows that those who are spiritual live longer and more satisfying lives.

Step 3

Keep positive people in your life. Avoid people who have a negative mindset and surround yourself with people who are upbeat, spiritual and fun.

Step 4

Practice positive thinking. Try not to let negative thoughts enter your atmosphere. Think instead of all the good things in your life, even if there aren’t very many. Concentrate on your good features instead of your faults.

Step 5

Laugh often. Watch a funny movie or hang out with someone who you can be silly with. Laughter is a great way to get a positive attitude.

Step 6

Learn something new or take up a new hobby. Get out and do things you love to do and enjoy yourself.

Step 7

Reevaluate your situation. It’s easy to think negative or pessimistic thoughts when something happens. However, when you think rationally about the facts instead of the fears, you can see a more positive side of things.

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Over the lat couple of weeks, our lives have changed forever. The arrival of our first child, Makayla, was amazing. It all happen so fast but thats another story. Due to having an emergency C – Section, my wife was in the hospital for 6 days recovering. This was a very tough time for me but I tried to be there as much as possible.

What made the time even tougher was that I got handed a notice of anticipated retrenchment. This obviously made work very difficult. The silver lining to the tough time at work was that with everything that was going on outside work and the fact that I am have a family now, made the tough time at work seem insignificant. All the little things that would normally grate me and make me angry, now were being laughed off as not important.

I am not saying that the problems at work were not important. I was giving 100% at work and always will but, there are now better things to worry about. The order of significance for the problem I face daily, has been completely rearranged forever.

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I woke up this morning with a plan. I would leave home early, taking my wife to work and cycle home from toti (about 40 km of very nice cycling). Before that, I would stop in at the motor licensing place to change ownership of a motor vehicle as well as a stop at my wife’s cousin to discuss an awesome website he is designing. Wow! What a plan for a good day.

Well, someone has got a sense of humour and likes messing with my plans! I woke up this morning to rain and some howling wind. No cycling. I have to say I get grumpy if I plan to exercise and then do not. We head off to toti to take my wife to work and it was a pleasant trip. I dropped Carrie off, had a cup of coffee and headed to the licensing place. The wrong place! Doh! I get to the right place and they are short staffed and cannot serve me because they are doing two jobs. Get helped eventually. Head from there to Brads place – he is not there yet. Doh! Meanwhile, the sun had come out and the wind died down to a breeze. Doh!

My glorious plan for the day down the tubes. Now I am a serious grumpy bum – correct! You must say you would be if your days plan were completely derailed like that. What happened to my mood and attitude today? This where I made a choice. Today’ it was a conscious choice. I had to decide on the path I was going to take. I could take the road of disappointment and anger about how my day being derailed. I could however, make the decision to look for the silver linings and focus on the positives of what actually happens.

The day was actually very fruitful despite some hiccups. Every day and every moment you always have a choice. You may think you do not have a choice but you always do. Sometimes the choice will not be easy though. Life is not always easy and the choices can be difficult. The bottom line here is: you have a choice!

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