I don’t believe in New Year resolutions. You don’t need to wait till January 1 (or another magic date) to start any grandiose plans. However, new year time is indeed a good moment to look at your targets and goals – not only because of the symbolism of a year’s threshold but also it’s a perfect break from routine work and hassle.
If you think of WHAT to change – do you consider HOW you can do it consistently? You might need some boost and tactics to stick to your plans and goals, for example:
- Finding a “support group”, a club, a circle of peers, which can help you stay on track to your goals. When I feel tired and exhausted for a run, what do I do? Yes, coming to a running club.
- Understanding how a habit works, and how you can change it. Basically, you have to be vigilant around cues, and substitute the “bad” routine by a “good” one to achieve very similar output/reward. There is an excellent book about it – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
- Knowing yourself and noticing how you do progress. For me, lots of change can be achieved through small steps, shaping and molding my everyday life – I don’t need dramatic revolutions & resolutions to get there. But I do need exciting plans, and anchoring deadlines, a flow of inspiration, and directed energy.
- Celebrating your wins. Very often, this is the hardest point for me. First, this kind of bargain does not work on me (if I complete A, I can treat myself with B; or brag about it, etc.). Then, giving myself full credit for an achievement sometimes is a challenge, because obviously, I could have done better and faster 🙂 This is where your friends and support group can help – to cheer for you!
- Remembering that a new habit takes around three weeks to establish. It will get better and easier, certainly. Just hang on!
- When something looks specifically hard, or not even achievable – remembering that you are not a finished product. You are evolving every day. You are not good at – fill in the blank – making connections, speaking in public, coding, math, creative writing? Maybe, as on today. But you can significantly improve, or even uncover new talent. By the way, for a very long time, I was thinking about myself as a pure “right-brained” person, who was all about creativity, literature, intuition, and arts. You know my first diploma’s topic? British romantic poetry. At some point, I realized that I acquired an entirely different set of skills – technology, analytics, coding, project management. Now I am learning SQL, and I am thrilled about it!
- The biggest thing, from my point of view, is metaphysical (I mentioned my “right-brainedness”, right?). If you want to progress – you need to have a culture of progress, and goals that follow your values. Life happens every day, and if you are not cultivating your passion and eager to move in the right direction, your best intentions won’t stay long. If it’s not supported by your deepest believes and inspirations – well, it will be just another New Year resolution.