“The greatest works are done by the ones. The hundreds do not often do much, the companies never; it is the units, the single individuals, that are the power and the might.” ~ Philemon Charles H. Spurgeon
Every year some time shortly after the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, many people flock to gyms, throw away their cigarettes, start writing a book, change their diet, etc....all in the name of New Year's Resolutions! January is a full month for activities such as those, and, along about February or March, these resolutions to increase, improve, decrease or lose, have, for the most part, dissipated, leaving people feeling they are failures, slackers, or minimally, unresolved...
Rather than set New Year's resolutions, please consider the practice of planned accomplishments throughout the year. Planned accomplishments are goals set with intended results, and are done for a selfish reason of bettering oneself...and often benefit not only you, but others alike.
A proficient (productive and efficient combined) way to plan accomplishments is to think of your three key strengths and write them down, followed by the recording of the three areas of opportunity you observe most in yourself. Then, if you are brave and really determined to improve, poll 6-10 people (on the same two topics) who are important in your life and look for consensus. When you have the top three in each area, personally rank them in order of importance. From there, you have six areas for planned accomplishment (Yes, it is healthy to plan accomplishments for strength areas as well...it's like giving those attributes further enhancement or shine). Determine a workable approach that is measurable for each planned accomplishment, and record them for you before sharing them with minimally three people (ideally, you'd share them with the same 6-10 whom were polled). To ensure you have clear planned accomplishments, when determining them, give yourself a way to recognize your progress. In other words, spending more time with my family is a typical "resolution", where a planned accomplishment is spending at least 1 hour a day with my family in discussion/conversation without the TV or other distractions. Qualifiers such as more, better, stronger, faster, slower, less, provide built-in excuses and/or success. Imagine if someone currently spends 5 minutes a day with his/her family and they "resolve" to spend more time...s/he is magically (read as easily) successful, when 10 minutes is spent...or even 6? Push yourself to know what it is you want to accomplish...and measure up! Similarly, resolving to "lose weight" or get in "better shape" will yield a higher form of accomplishment and purpose when re-focused and rephrased to a specific amount, fitness level, body fat %, or even better, medical health levels, as such planned accomplishments will reflect in one's confidence and in the way others recognize that person's ability to stick with things. Simply stated, set a clear path and follow through. Because of the way your subconscious works, "lost weight" gets found, "better shape" is relative, etc., therefore, I encourage you to look to rid, discard, remove whatever it is you do not want (weight, cholesterol levels, coffee, caffeine, cigarettes, unhealthy relationships, etc.) from your life, so that you are not working against yourself internally without even realizing it, based on your self-talk.
The old adage of plan the work and work the plan, rings true with this process, and the implementation of the methodology will likely keep your focus, commitment and interest level because it is done out of desire and want, rather than in reaction to the tradition of the Babylonians, who were known to have celebrated the new year approximately 4,000 years ago. Picture yourself along about February or March, progressing in/on your planned accomplishments, and, for the most part, none having dissipated, positioning you as a success, a do-er, and quite realistically, already accomplished!