The six Rs of resolutions
New Year approaches. So many options for self-improvement.
Get fitter. Get richer. Master social media. Lose weight. Gain muscle. Sleep more. Watch less TV.
Many people set New Year’s Resolutions.
Don’t scoff! These are the dreamers aiming for a better life!
They are choosing this moment to try to break cycles of failure they think are holding them back.
We should congratulate them, even though most will fail.
There is a science of successful New Year resolving.
It is a distillation of the actions that are most likely to see your resolution fulfilled.
It can be broken down into the six R’s: Resolve, research, record, reveal, revisit, reward.
Here’s how it works.
Resolve. Choose your aim, while being realistic.
Research how to achieve it by going online to do a deep dive into the plethora of advice and information available online.
It’s often a good idea to also include a chat with your smartest friend.
Record the resolution, along with the plan for how you are going to achieve it.
Reveal it by telling loved ones about it.
Revisit it throughout the year, checking in on your progress.
Reward yourself when you hit milestones.
Consider how this might work with KiwiSaver.
Let’s say you missed out on part
of the ‘‘ member tax credit’’ this being a gift of up to $521.43 from the taxpayer, paid into your KiwiSaver account.
It helps boost your retirement nest egg, so it is worth having.
Having identified your resolution, go on online to see how it all works.
You find that get the entire taxpayer subsidy you have to contribute at least $1042.86 before the end of June.
Employer contributions don’t count, you find.
Your failure to get the entire big five hundy, as the Retirement Commissioner calls it, may be because you are on contribution holiday, self-employed, or employed parttime, so don’t earn enough.
Your plan may involve steps like: join KiwiSaver, come off contributions holiday, or make an additional voluntary contribution to get over the line.
Once your plan is made, record it by writing it down.
Reveal it. Tell some people. Fix it to the fridge with a magnet.
The plan has milestones.
Keep tabs on how you are doing. Revisit it from time to time to check you are on track.
When you hit the target, tell your loved ones, and be rewarded with hugs.
The most exciting resolutions are the life-changing ones with the potential to reset your life onto a happier, richer track.
When I think back over my working life this far, there are two big decisions that stick out as having been transformative.
The first was getting fit and giving up the cigarettes (I’m counting it as one because getting fit was my reward for being tobacco-free).
The second was to be anti-debt, and anti-consumer (Again, I’m counting that as one because the first is hard without the second).
So, resolve, research, record, reveal, revisit, reward for a better life.
Be realistic, and exercise restraint. Don’t shed too many bad habits at once.