By Joe Harker
"Another year over, a new one just begun..."
As 2017 fades into the past and everyone prepares for 2018 thoughts turn towards what the new year will bring. Many will look back on 2017 with sadness while others will view it with joy. Hindsight is said to bring perfect vision and only time will tell whether 2018 ends up being your favourite year or one to forget.
If you want to make 2018 a fantastic year then it might be time to set some achievable goals for self improvement. Even if the events of the year get you down there can be joy in personal achievements. There are few people who look back on a year where they didn't push themselves to be better and say it was the best one they've ever had. If you don't like something then work to change it, be a person who tries their hardest to make themselves and the world around them better. If you feel happy and accomplished that be happy for that and cross your fingers that 2018 won't derail that feeling.
Many people will try and better themselves through the popular practice of New Year's Resolutions, but 80 per cent will have been discarded by February. Deciding to do something different and make a change is a positive move if persisted with but it is sometimes said that people have the same flaws in one year that they had in the previous one. Change doesn't come overnight and suddenly deciding to do something else may not lead to a lasting difference in life.
Some people set themselves the same resolution each year, having regularly failed to follow through on their attempts at self improvement. One particular reason why resolutions often fail is because the goals we set ourselves are often too difficult to keep. We might decide that the new year is the time to get a promotion or start a new exercise regime, but we often set ourselves impractical goals that are very difficult to keep up over the year or rely on the decisions of others.
There is nothing wrong with setting yourself a goal that will lead to being a better person, but it is best to be honest about your own abilities if a New Year's Resolution is going to work. Sticking to one goal and celebrating the small successes and progress made over the year is seen as the best way to keep at it. Setting lofty goals may sound great at the start of the year but at the end it is better to have achieved something simple rather than given up after a couple of months.
Oh, and Happy New Year!