Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Self-Improvement Projects

(This Hello Kitty 2012 Calendar is a gift to you as a token of appreciation for any self-improvement projects you will engage in.)

Year 2012 just started. Have you worked out any New Year’s Resolutions for self-improvement? I figure out mine and they are simple.

1.      Lose weight, 10 pounds in the year throughout.
2.      Watch a movie every Sunday (at least 53 movies) in 2012
3.      Read one and a half book per week (78 books) in 2012
4.      Pick a funny photo daily for a look to make my day.

If you haven’t come up with any resolution, is it because you no longer believe in any? Or you find the resolutions are more less the same or similar every year and so it’s too boring to bother with them anymore?  

Failures in living up to the resolutions are discouraging indeed. However, resolutions themselves are innocent. They give hints on several aspects -- some areas you are not doing well enough, your desire to call for positive changes and there is room for improvements.

What you may need is discovering the tricks on how to have easier achievements. Here are some suggestions on how to realize your resolutions.

Stop making vague wishes

Examples are good health, get inspiration, have enjoyment, learn new things and be happy. When wishes are vague, they won’t take shape in your mind, but dissolve in air easily as if they never existed. Hence, be specific. Think more to draw the routes and the desirable results to help the wishes stay strong and lasting.

Be quantitative

Add numbers and time frame to your resolutions. Don’t set the quantity at random. Learn the lessons from the past. If there is no previous data, check the norms to decide on the optimal status. With quantity specified, it is easier to compare with the old days to find out your strengths and weaknesses, measure and evaluate the present to learn the progress.

Be realistic and creative

If you have to work from nine to six, and take a 2nd job right after an hour dinner until 11pm from Monday to Saturday, to clear debts, there is not much time left for other activities on those days. Do not overburden yourself with too many time-consuming resolutions or else they will be untouched and become instant failures. Always consider the resources you can afford for each resolution. Sometimes adjustments on daily operation can squeeze additional time from the current schedule to allow more achievements.

Keep reminding, measuring, recording and monitoring

I like printing out the resolutions in big words and sticking them in my room as a reminder. Many resolutions demand trial and error, and continuous efforts. Want to lose weight, you may start a new diet and have a 30 minute exercise daily. Remember to get a bathroom scale to measure your body weight from the start and record in a regular basis. The data will help you understand how effective your work was. You can always shift to a new and better strategy if you come across any.

Ask someone to send you encouragements

Feel free to share your resolutions with others. Though other people may not join you in the quest, receiving their encouragements in a few words may smooth away the loneliness that tempts people to forsake during the course.

Invite others to help you nail down the target

It is always nice to have companions in the process. This does not mean that you have to find one person sticking with you throughout. Invite different people to jog with you. To meet the reading target for a book, be prepared to tell your friends a new story briefly or have a discussion with them on the deadline. Enjoy the sharing and the striving process will turn out to be much pleasanter than you imagined.

It’s never too late to think of new resolutions and take effort to realize them. If you have any suggestions on this topic, welcome to leave a message for sharing. Hope everyone can have a prosperous year.

Other self-improvement articles you may be interested in reading: