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What do you want for the New Year?

It is that time of year now where people often remember what they did not accomplish in the last year, and make resolutions for the new year.

A few thoughts on this…

First, it is sometimes useful to reflect on all the things that went right in the last year. Take a moment and ask yourself these questions and see, hear, and feel the answers. What did you accomplish that you are proud of? What are you grateful for in your life now?

It can be a good exercise to remember the good things in life before considering what is not in your life yet.

Now for 2014, what do you want to be/do/have that is different than 2013? From a place of recognizing what you have already accomplished, think about what you would like in your life.

I put it in the reverse order from the normal way people think about it because it often works better that way. Instead of thinking about what you want to get, so you can do something different, and be a different person, do it the other way around. Who do you want to be, so that you can do things differently, and thus have different results from what you had before.

Now, take a moment and actually write down a few things you would like for 2014.

If you have not made written goals in the past, you may want to consider starting. First, the act of writing them down starts the process of making them real. If you refer to them every week or every day, it will remind your unconscious mind about what to move towards in life.

Finally, consider the famous Yale study on goals, quoted below:

“In 1953, Harvard decided to conduct a survey of all the students that were leaving that year. There were lots of questions in the survey asking about all manner of things like religious and political preferences and many other things too. One of the questions was: do you have your goals written down? It turned out that just 3% of the students answered ‘yes’ to this question.

Fast forward, twenty years: the university decided to run another survey twenty years later. Originally, they were simply going to repeat the same study, but someone had the bright idea of using the money differently. They decided to contact all the students that had left twenty years earlier and see what they were up to.

It was a massive research project. Some of the students had died, but they found all of the remainder. When they analysed the data, they discovered that the 3% who had taken the time and trouble to properly quantify their goals were worth financially more than the other 97% put together.”