For most of us, it’s the same thing every year – we throw a big party to celebrate the end of one year while welcoming in a new one. Along with the celebrations follows those ‘pesky’ New Year’s resolutions.
Why are they pesky? Well, have you known anyone who has kept any – or all of them – all year long? There is a way, it just means communicating them openly to yourself and staying organized.
Tackling a goal, like becoming a powerful and convincing speaker, is a skill like riding a bicycle. It takes time for your muscles to learn the skill and incorporate them for daily use. The key is to train your muscles to move in this new way – also known as muscle memory. Muscle memory is a type of movement with which the muscles become familiar over time. For example, newborns don’t have the muscle memory for movements like walking or crawling. The only way for muscles to become accustomed to these movements, is for the baby to learn how to do these activities and practice them repeatedly with a great deal of trial and error. Gradually, as the baby becomes a skilled walker or crawler she falls less, is able to balance, and is finally able to incorporate other activities into her life such as running. The same is true for speaking, communicating well, and most of all: goals. Here’s a little list to help you achieve yours.
1) Put that notebook or journal you got from your cousin on Christmas to good use and write them down. Writing them down actually solidifies them, turning them into reality; something you can’t escape and can acknowledge on a daily basis.
2) Communicate them with your support system. Tell your friends or family about your long and short-term goals for the year and explain to them why they are important to keep, that way they could help you maintain them.
3) Make those resolutions fun! Not all of them have to mean you getting lighter by going to the gym five days a week or eating less. Maybe add ‘dance lessons’ or ‘cooking classes’ or even take a drawing course. Add something that will expand your own creativity and contribute to your personal evolution.
4) Prioritize your list. Which one takes more time (ie: shedding a few pounds) over which one can be done immediately (ie: vowing to clean the science projects out the fridge every week.)
5) Don’t stress if you don’t meet your goals right away. This is why we call them goals. Something fun or productive to work towards. They will always be there and we can always tackle them, so remember to give yourself a bit of a break!
And remember: “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
On behalf of Release Your Voice, we wish you a Happy New Year! See you in 2011.