Turn New Year’s Resolutions Into Realities

 Happy New Year! 2018 is just around the corner so I wanted to wish everyone a happy and prosperous year to come. This time of year is when most of us make resolutions for the upcoming year. All of us want to improve our lives and resolutions seems like the perfect way to kick-start the new us. Unfortunately, many resolutions seem to fall by the wayside by mid January (if not sooner). Estimates are that less than 10% of people actually succeed in setting/achieving resolutions. Why is that? I think it’s because the vast majority of resolutions are made “last minute” without really thinking about what it might take to actually turn that resolution into reality.

“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am”

— Cyril Cusack

While it’s a good thing to want to improve ourselves, it needs to be done in a way that “connects” with who we are and what we’re about. If we just set things to be done without taking this “pre-step” the odds of success are much lower, which means we only get more frustrated/negative and pessimistic about our ability to actually change.

Our ability to make changes in our life (in almost every area) often comes down to creating new habits and changing our behaviors. Think about it, if we don’t know what our “default” behaviors or habits are, how can we expect to change something we don’t even know exists!

Here’s some tips on turning resolutions into reality based on my own experience as well as lots of research into the “science of resolutions”.

  • Clearly define your goals: Pick a few specific items that fit you as a unique individual, not a bunch of general things that apply to someone else. Instead of “I will exercise more”, try “I will schedule a 30 minute walk every day”. If walking isn’t your thing find an activity you enjoy and tie your resolution to it.
  • Track your progress: How do you know if you’re succeeding and still on track if you don’t know where you’ve been? The answer…you don’t. You increase the odds of success greatly by keeping track of your progress, with all the ups and downs that go along with it.
  • Have patience: Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. It takes time to turn a resolution into a reality. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and expect the new you to emerge in just a few days. Take pride in the fact that you are committing to a long-term plan, not a short-term quick fix.
  • Publicize your goal: It’s a lot harder to bail on your resolutions if others know about it. You can tell your spouse or family or you can plaster it all over social media, it’s up to you. However you do it make sure that you let others in your life that you truly care about know of your goals. We want to please those we love so telling them immediately helps us out.
  • Put it on your schedule: One of the hardest things to do is to “find the time” for things we’re not used to doing. One of the best ways to fix this is to actually schedule the time for you to work on your resolutions.
  • It’s not all or nothing: Don’t set yourself up for failure by making your resolution something that is an ultimatum. Any progress is a good thing so give yourself credit for moving in the right direction.
  • Be resilient: Life is full of ups and downs and in order to get through it we must be resilient. If you have a setback or even completely stop in your quest to achieve your resolution(s) don’t give up. Get back to things as soon as you can, pick up where you left off, and keep moving forward

I hope these tips help you set your own resolutions and make them a reality. The process of setting and achieving goals, no matter in what area of life it is, is one of the things that makes life more enjoyable, productive and FUN.

Fun Money Segment: Roon Music Software

I’ve long been a “budget audiophile” meaning I love reproducing and listening to music on affordable high end equipment. Over the years I’ve “invested” some of my money in various amplifiers, music players, turntables, headphones and speakers in search of a great listening experience without busting my budget. I’ve built up a decent collection of CD’s that I have lovingly ripped to the lossless FLAC format and stored them on a hard drive. And while the quality of the music is great I’ve often had trouble taking full advantage of my music due to limitations in playback equipment/software.

In 2005 I purchased a couple of Squeezeboxes that allowed me to stream music to my audio system. After 12 years of loyal service my 2 squeezebox players wore out and stopped working (the screens failed 1st and then the wifi board). I began a search for an affordable alternative that would give me the high-quality music I’d gotten used to with the Squeezeboxes. After researching options in a few different audiophile forums I came across a product called Roon.

Roon is a music management and player application that pitches itself as the “music player for music lovers”. You subscribe to the service ($119/year or $499 for lifetime), install the “core” on a system that will serve as your music server, link your digital music files and start listening. Roon’s biggest advantages over most other music management/player apps is it’s deep metadata capabilities (helping you discover new music) and no compromise playback quality. In addition to your own music Roon integrates with Tidal, a music streaming service that offers high quality streaming. I’ve been using Roon for almost 3 years and really enjoy it.

Roon is a luxury item, no doubt. When you can load everything on iTunes for free, paying $119/year is definitely a bit of a splurge, but for those of us that enjoy well reproduced music and have something halfway decent to listen to it on (cheap earbuds don’t count), Roon is a great option.

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