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New Year’s Resolutions and the Power of Dreaming

Mukesh Dedhia, CFP, IndiaBy Mukesh Dedhia, CFP

“There are some people, who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

 – Douglas H. Everett

As a child, I had always dreamt of having a lavish office and leading my subordinates. I had always dreamt of being a leader and running my own business. Not knowing then, at all how I would get there, but the will within was strong. Today, I am actually living my dream. The journey here has not been a cake walk, as it seemed in the childhood dream, but the pride and satisfaction of living it is immense.

The Power of Dreaming

“All that we are, is a result of what we have thought” – Buddha.

So, what I do, even today, is have my own dream world. In my dreamworld, I VISUALIZE & rehearse my future and I wonder how many of you have realized the power of dreaming? Or turning dreams into reality?

Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.

You would argue that since you are so busy in the rat race of life, you hardly get time to list down your dreams, leave aside working towards them in a disciplined fashion. So on occasions like “New Year’s”, you loosely, list down the small wishes you would like to fulfill. Rather, people seem to be at their creative best when it comes to composing “New Year” resolutions – and at their worst when it comes to keeping them. And then, almost the same wishlist continues year after year.

It’s All Up to You

Why? Because, you just did it, for the sake of it. Almost like an annual ritual because everyone does it – and then, you will also be asked by others what your resolutions are! Remember! Living a life in balance means taking the necessary time to renew yourself. It’s all up to you. You can experience vibrant energy. Or you can procrastinate and miss out on the benefits of good health and exercise. You can revitalize yourself and face a new day in peace and harmony. Or you can wake up in the morning full of apathy. Just remember that every day provides a new opportunity for renewal–a new opportunity to recharge yourself instead of hitting the wall. All it takes is the desire, knowledge, and skill.

This is good advice if you really want to change a behavior. The vast majority of people who make resolutions don’t intend to pursue them with the energy and commitment of someone ready to make an important change. The whole point of a resolution is to acknowledge the existence of an ideal self you could slip into — if you ever really wanted to. Enjoy acknowledging the potential for change and the core values at the heart of the resolution.

Making resolutions is a great idea. Compared to those who make no resolutions, resolvers are more likely to make the change. It’s the first critical step on a long path – but you can’t get to your goal without taking that step. I believe wishful thinking has a way of coming true. Just shifting gears from “what we are doing” to “what we’d really like to do” has some effect. Again I would like to mention, don’t make a list of things that are excessively impossible to achieve in a year. While setting any goals in life, be prudent enough to see that they are S.M.A.R.T.

SMART Goals

For example, your New Year’s resolution/goal can be as common as “I want to lose weight!” But don’t just leave it there or else your resolutions will be straying like a flock of sheep do without a shepherd to direct them. So make your goal S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Achievable, R = Realistic & T = Time Related. So reframe your goal for something like, “I want to lose 12 pounds of weight in 3 months, and I will exercise 3 times a week to accomplish this.” Doesn’t the resolution look more seriously set & achievable this way?

As I have mentioned earlier, it’s important to BELIEVE in your dream.  You must believe you will achieve the perfect weight and that it is yours already. You must imagine, pretend, act as if, make-believe, that you already have it.

Remember! Your goals may be non-financial, but most of them have a financial impact, which may be huge. So again when you think about losing weight, finally you wish to be healthier. Illness and physical weakness has a financial cost associated with it on account of cost of remedy and if you are the primary earning member of the family, then you being in a good state of health is of utmost importance as it ensures you are able to continue earning!

I suppose, it should be a bit like corporate life where you set annual goals and track performance against them. Financial planning professionals are dealing with a rapidly evolving world of regulation within the financial services industry that continues to present challenges. I believe, change always brings challenge – it also provides opportunities to try new things in new ways. Let’s resolve to not complain about issues not in our hands, but resolve to be even more systematic and disciplined in our approach.

Things to Look Forward To

So, on a personal as well as professional front; make a list of at least 10 such things to look forward to in 2012. Think small and predictable, but nevertheless enjoyable (such as new episodes of a favorite TV show), as well as big dreams that you can work toward (such as finishing writing your novel, or a trip you’d like to take). Also here, I would like to recommend, register yourself on www.stickk.com , it is a smart way to set your goals and achieve them.

As the last week of the year approaches, I have butterflies in my tummy. It has been a particularly hard year on several fronts, and I am curious to know how I have fared vis-à-vis the goals I set. So here I go to reconcile and to write down my New Year resolutions’ list….

“You can begin feeling whatever you want (even if it’s not there).. the universe will correspond to the nature of your song” – (The Secret,Book)

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