Cái bài này mình xin đăng lại từ trong cuốn SUNFLOWER January 2002 bởi vì thấy rất hay và rất hữu ích đối với tất cả các bạn.
Follow these rules to…….
MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION STICK
As the New Year approaches, a special countdown begins. That’s when you’ve promised to begin a diet …. or quit smoking … or get more exercise.
Without proper thought and planning, however , most resolutions are doomed to fail. And that can be worse than making no resolutions at all.
But conversely, the jubilant “I can do it! ” feeling you get from keeping a resolution can carry over into all parts of your life. Here’s what experts recommend you do to make New Year Resolutions stick:
- Plan ahead.
Once you’ve settled on your resolution, put it in writing. Selecting the words forces you to think clearly about what you’re going to do and how you’ll do it.
- Set a realistic goals.
Marshall Lumsden, a Mabilu, Calif., writer and editor, loved to travel. He resolved to learn a foreign language so he’d enjoy his trips more. Twice he enrolled in French classes, and twice he had to drop out because he was to busy. The third year, he cleared his schedule for the classes, practiced with tapes in his car, and rewarded himself with a trip to Paris.
- Be specific.
Too often, goals are couched in sweeping term like ” I resolve to be a better person,” or “I will try to improve my mind.”
To be really effective, you must state exactly what you’re going to do. Don’t say, “I resolve to be more friendly”; say, ” I will ‘Good morning ‘ to everyone in the office .” This way, your progress can be seen and measured.
- Please yourself first.
Sometime, external motivations can subtly be internalized. For example, if a spouse fails to respond to requests to stop smoking, you might point out that cigarettes stain teeth and make a person less attractive.
- Ask for help.
Go public with your resolution. Announce to family and friends that you’re cutting down your expenses or looking for a new job.
But don’t just broadcast your intensions, Marlatt advises. Tell those around you exactly how they can help.
- Try substitution.
A resolution to start a good habit is easier to implement than a plegde to break a bad one. The most sucsessful resolution combine both – cut back on evenings at the office and volunteer some time at a local charity, for example.
Substitution works best if the two practices are incompatible. When Marilyn Shepard eas working as Manhattan personnel administrator, then a second one to walk instead of snack before dinner. She bought a pair of sport shoes and resolved to walk home 40 blocks after work each evening. That gave her regular excercise and also got her home just in time to eat dinner dinner instead of snacking first.
- Use reminders.
If you’ve decided to read a book a week, post the resolution on your TV. If your goal is to give up late-night snacks, keep a reminder on the refrigerator.
- Don’t give up.
Everyday is the beginning of a new year. If a snack-food binge breaks your diet on February 15, make a new resolution effective February 16. If you have a bad day and yell at the kids, you don’t have to wait until January to be cheerful again.
The coming of a new year is a wonderful opportunity for self-improvement. It is a time of hope, of renewal. After you say “Happy New Year,” your next three words should be “I resolve to…” And this time, you’ll know how to stick to it.
(By Edwin Kiester, Jr.,And Sally Valente Kiester)
(from Reader’s Digest).