THE BLOG

6 Effective Tools for Making a Resolution

12/23/2013 03:30 pm ET | Updated Feb 22, 2014

Resolutions and achieving goals are a part of many people's lives and if you are one of them then you may find these tips beneficial:

1. Making moderately difficult goals.
Too much or too little arousal may effect performance and motivation negatively. A moderately difficult goal that is sustainable, desirable, attainable and reachable is the way to go. For example, if you want to buy a house, you have to start by learning how to become good at money management and disciplining yourself to make sure you have a good credit score.

2. Visualizing your goals and making them clear.
Many people cannot specifically define what their goals are and why they have them. The more you can identify and clarify your goal and feel the joy of having it, the more motivated you will become. Write it on a piece of paper and put it where you can see it with a visual picture. For example, if your resolution is to have better relationships, then write down what behaviors you want to modify and how you want to get there. For example, you can say something like I will make funny jokes the next time I see my difficult mother-in-law so that we can share a laugh and decrease the tension.

3. Making sure you goals are yours and not someone else.
It is important to have resolutions and goals that resonate with who you are and what you are capable of. While observation and learning from others are helpful, blind imitation would not satisfy you in the long run. For example, if you want that car because your cousin has it, the force behind it is not to help you feel good about achieving a goal but competing. This type of competition does not provide a permanent internal satisfaction because once you feed it, it wants more and before you have time to enjoy this new car, you find yourself competing for something else. This can impose a lot of stress without much lasting joy.

4. Making sure there is a balance.
There are different elements to life that make people have a stable feeling of well-being. Relationships, financial stability, health (emotional, mental, spiritual and physical), giving back to the world, and having a meaning in life are all ingredients that have been shown to effect subjective well-being. If you want to have happiness in your life, you have to make sure that you are focusing on different aspects of your life and planting the seed right. Focusing too much on one aspect of your life for too long and ignoring another may backfire so make sure you are aware of your priorities, are looking at the long term as well as short and have a sense of moderation. For example, if you are thinking about making more money, think about how networking and learning to cooperate and give back can help you accomplish this task easier. In other words, learn to make things work together, create win win situations and learn to benefit others as much as you want to be benefited.

5. Learning to be disciplined.
The foundation for any resolution to take a course is someone who has a disciplined mind and can control his behavior. That by itself can be a resolution since when you discipline yourself, you become more consistent. Remember, self-control is the door to internal liberation and too much freedom could be as negative and confusing as too much restriction. For example, if your resolution is to get into a serious relationship, then you have to discipline your thought and behavior to focus on one potential partner and make it work, rather than being tempted and distracted by the many options out in the world.

6. Doing less talk and more action.
Many of you have probably encountered people who say a lot of things they want to do but don't do a fraction of them. If you're one of them then you may want to start your resolution by learning to have respect for what you say and to follow through. When you respect your words and follow through with them, you build a sense of trust within yourself that helps you become stronger.

Finally, when making a resolution don't have unreasonable expectations and be patient. If you plant the seed right and start taking the right steps, then you can do many things you didn't think you could. The right steps are not always be the same as the biggest ones, and how you take your steps may not be similar to how others take them. Know what works for you and implement that.
Roya R. Rad