New Year's resolutions

The year 2009 is just behind the corner... Will it be for you a year of far-reaching changes and events? A year of new contacts, experiences and successes? If you're not sure yet, you can plan it yourself. It'll suffice that you'll define your New Year's resolutions and then steadfastly stick to them.

It is public commitment that is one of the most important rules when it comes to making New Year's resolutions. Below this article you'll have a chance to write down your own resolutions and in this way make yourself much more committed to them :)

Moreover, I'll show you what making a public commitment is about and how it happens that making such a commitment contributes to achieving your goals.

"Whenever an individual takes publicly a stance, a propensity for sustaining this stance arises, which makes that person want to be perceived as consistent in their undertakings" - Robert Cialdini

Consistency and determination are features which people seem to value much more than any other ones. It results from the belief that lack of consistency and determination tantamounts to insecurity and weakness.

Robert Cialdini in his book on influencing other people described an experiment in which he asked students to determine the length of the line that was shown to them. Students where divided into three groups - the first one had to write down their estimations on a signed sheet of paper, the second one wrote down their answers on  a piece of paper from which the answers could be easily erased, and the third group had to remember their estimates without writing them down. At first researchers were providing students with the right answers and then were asking them about their estimations. It turned out that the third group in most cases changed their answers if these proved wrong. People from the second group were more consistent and changed their estimates only in some cases, and the first group was consistent with what they had written down.

Apart from showing the power of public commitment, this experiment also shows the significance of writing things down.If you write down your resolution and then give it to your close ones, it'll have a much greater power than just uttering it.

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How to define a resolution

New Year's resolutions should be shaped according to a few rules.Keeping in mind these rules will increase your chance of fulfilling your resolutions, which in turn will motivate you even more and make the whole process easier.Such a resolution should be characterized by the following features: it should be precise, measurable, ambitious but realistic, time-limited and written in a present tense. A much more accurate description of these principles can be found in my article about setting oneself goals.Pay attention also to the paragraph devoted to writing down particular steps needed to achieve given goals. That is why I encourage you to find some time to think about what you want to achieve next year. Resolutions can be examined by categories, f.e. finances, relations, personal development, work. However, be careful not to set too many resolutions. The fewer resolutions you have, the easier it will be for you to focus on them.Define a few goals which you believe can change your life in the coming year.

Public commitment

Next, write them down and define them according to the rules I've already described. Create a few the same cards, one leave and the rest hand down to your close ones - parents, siblings, friends. Ask them to inquire into your progress. Such a public commitment will give you the power and motivation to stick to your resolutions. I do it myself and every now and then I have a look at my resolution card and plan next steps. Share your resolutions in the commentaries below. Every single release of your goals means a higher chance of becoming successful. And next year we'll ask who has managed to keep their promises :)

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