Forget Resolutions: Get a Personal Wishlist!

If giving stuff up isn't your thing, perhaps focusing on what you do want is more up your alley. Replace the New Year Resolutions with your own Personal Wishlist, explains Melanie Hearse. 

As we practically bolt towards the finish line of this year, many of us will be starting to compile our resolutions for the year ahead. For those that try and fail, or find themselves breaking out into a sweat at the very thought, it may well be because New Year’s resolutions are generally about giving stuff up – be it smoking, drinking, bad dating habits or a portion of your body weight.

While masquerading as a positive life step, there is something inherently negative about couching change – even when the outcomes are purely positive in nature, in a way that smacks of deprivation. A personal wish list for the year ahead on the other hand, is a way of keeping change as a totally positive experience – of adding, rather than subtracting, from your life. And the good news is, a lot of the stuff we want to give up generally happens as part of chasing the dreams on your list. 

Ok, so what are we talking about?
The wishlist concept is simple. Take out a big sheet of paper, or perhaps some colourful cardboard (think circa Year 7 assignment poster-board) and start writing down your goals for the year ahead, in all the major sectors of your life. The main sectors (and these are a guide only – there may be more or less in your life) include:
• Family
• Romance
• Career
• Friendships
• House and home
• Health
• Finances
• Personal or spiritual wellbeing

Space them out well and draw a bubble around each (you’ll be writing loads around each one!) Now the fun begins – start writing out where you would ideally like to be next year each of these areas; remember to be specific and dream big. A few examples? Under house and home, you may want the house repainted, you might want to have a special place in the house that is just yours to chill out in, or you might be looking to step onto, or higher up, the property ladder. Finances might be about learning the stock market or just getting your taxes and bills under control. Health could incorporate getting your body ready for a baby, completing a marathon or perhaps hitting the recommended intake for fruit and veg each day. Personal or spiritual wellbeing may be conquering a short temper – anything goes, just close your eyes and visualise where you’d love to be in a year. Don’t stop at one, note down as many as you visualise in each sector.

The next step
Now that you’ve articulated your ideal vision, it’s time to get stuck into the fine print. For each idea, break it down into steps as to how you will achieve these goals - keep it realistic and as specific as possible. This is the part of the process where you see how many previous dreams haven’t happened simply because you haven’t a) acknowledged that it is important to you, or b) taken specific steps to see it happen. While a lot of life seemingly slots into place, a lot more can happen with a blueprint – having one can be the difference between same-old-same-old and looking back over your year on January 1st 2016 and being gobsmacked at how much you’ve achieved.

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