There are two definitions of "resolution" that seem appropriate when discussing our traditional New Year promises to ourselves.
One is "the quality of being determined or resolute." The other is "the conversion of something abstract into another form."
Chances are, both definitions fit the actual progress of our resolutions. At first, we may indeed be determined to actually turn our dreams into reality. But, a few short weeks later, we accept that maybe we're not as resolute as we thought, and wistful dreams of a summer beach body become a vague pledge to order takeout slightly less frequently!
If you are still in the adamantly optimistic stage, then good for you! But don't let that mindset slip! You can power up your resolve with the eight rules for success that we explore in our article, New Year Resolutions.
Alternatively, if the whole idea of New Year resolutions has lost its appeal, writing a "Hope Letter" may offer a better way to express and achieve your goals.
One of the best approaches for fulfilling your resolution is to make it a realistic, achievable goal. So we asked around the Mind Tools offices, to see what career-based resolutions our colleagues are making.
Writer and editor Jonathan Hancock, also author of "The Study Book," said, "This year I'm focusing on how I want to feel by the end of the year, rather than what I do (or don’t do!).
"And I'm going to try lots of different things, to see what works, rather than setting specific rules that I'll break in the first week!"
Natalie Benfell, marketing lifecycle executive, is determined to be more organized and streamlined. She said, "I'd like to be more focused this year to stop things from piling on top of me. I'm going to try to stop multitasking and instead focus on one task at a time.
"I might even try timeboxing to help me tackle bigger tasks in my day, and limit the amount of time I spend on low-value activities."
Customer support executive Jaye O'Farrell-Stevens declared, "This year I want to work on my networking skills. When I attend industry events, I want to feel more comfortable discussing my trade and making meaningful connections."
Rosie Robinson, assistant content editor/writer, said, "I'm going to push myself out of my comfort zone and open myself up to new experiences, connections and opportunities."
Editor Matthew Hughes is swapping resolutions for a To-Do List. He said, "I find New Year resolutions stressful and guilt-inducing when I inevitably fail them!
"Instead, I write down a list of things I want to do, see and achieve for the year ahead. This gives me a sense of purpose, perspective and direction."
We wish all our colleagues and readers every success in realizing all the resolutions or goals they set for the new year. But don't leave it to luck or wishful thinking: make a plan!
Calm people tend not to display worry or anxiety in difficult situations, and they're often reliable decision-makers or confident, strong leaders
Check out our brand new video with Mind Tools' Content Editor/Writer, Jonathan Hancock, who shares his handy hints for putting on a great presentation – in spite of any nerves
Longer lifespans and improved technology: both of these bring choices that my grandfathers never had – along with some significant new challenges
The idea of a Hope Letter with realistic resolution sounds to be an excellent idea. When writing a letter to self, it creates a vibe of positive emotions. When the letter is realistic, it can create a vivid positive visualization in the person's mind boosting his/her self confidence resulting in better chances of success.
I also like the idea of hope letters! For me it taps into my desires (hopes) and then my feelings of how I want to feel when I do realize that end result. It also feels less 'stressful, yet the critical key for me is that I take action towards those things that I'm hoping for!