2016 has finally wound down, and I can’t say that I’m mad about it. Truth be told, it wasn’t the best year, not necessarily just for myself, but I think for many others as well. The world has been through a lot in these last 12 months, especially in recent times…but let’s not concentrate on that because the prospect of the new year is certainly an uplifting sentiment.
Many people view the new year as an opportunity to purge themselves of the preceding year’s trauma and baggage, and set ambitious goals for themselves, unrealistic though they be at times. You may think that I am one of those persons based on the title of this post, and to some extent I am, but not in the way that you think. Let me explain…
Whenever I’m asked if I have any new year resolutions, my answer is usually no, and technically, that’s the truth. I believe in setting personal goals as much as the next guy, but not in the same way I see some people go about it. You know the ones I’m talking about: they say something lofty like “I’m gonna stop drinking for the new year!” or “I’m gonna workout every day so my summer body will be ready!”, but they’re the same ones who open the year by spending the night in the club drinking like sailors, or take a rain-check on their workout because they’re “on vacation” which just never seems to end.
I, on the other hand, have a bit of a different approach to resolutions; here’s a small checklist:
1. I only set short term goals. This means that I set goals that I can see the results of in a reasonable time span like a month or two. The reason for this is simply because when you undertake any new venture, it is easy to get discouraged when you aren’t seeing the immediate fruits of your labour. But with giving yourself a time span to achieve the goal, you stop focusing on the result and focus more on your dedication and consistency. This is especially useful when trying to form a new habit., as science states that it takes anywhere between 21-66 days for this to become a norm to your body and brain. Extra tip: These short term goals usually serve as stepping stones towards larger, long terms, so once you achieve those, you’re already on your way to bigger and better things.
2. I track my progress. We all have different learning styles. I tend to be creatively-minded and sometimes, visuals make things better. It gives me so much joy to shade in the completion of a task for the day, and it helps me see when I did or did not complete my task for the day and why. For example, I’ve been trying to break into the habit of being an early riser, so I track the days I manage to roll out of bed by a certain time. To do this, I need to ensure I get to bed at a certain time. That accountability is everything!
3. I’m lenient with myself. As I said, it’s easy to become discouraged when you don’t achieve your goal immediately or see any signs of results. It is for that reason that I give myself leeway with certain goals. For example, if I’m trying to form a new habit and I miss a day, I don’t say “oh well, that’s done! I’ll just have to wait until next year!” and chuck the whole thing. Instead, I simply restart my countdown and try again.
4. I begin this resolution WELL BEFORE the actual start date. Yup, that’s right! If I have a goal, I start making preparations for it before I actually begin holding myself accountable. I start to groom my body and brain so it’s easier for me to adapt to this new behaviour I’m trying to implement; so I trick my brain to get ahead!
5. I don’t wait for the new year! This is the most important tip! If you want to make a change, don’t wait for the new year to do it! Forget that “New Year, New Me” ish! If I want to make a change and get things done, the hope and breath of a new day is opportunity enough! Now you may be saying “why post a new year post after the new year?” But that’s exactly where this point comes in! Get your “Carpe Diem” on and work towards your goals NOW; NOT one year from now because you’ve missed a few days!
When I put all of these tricks together, I (usually) have a completed list of realistic resolutions that prepare and motivate me to start the process all over again or build on it for the next time around! I hope you’ll try them and let me know the result in the comments! Also, do you guys have any resolutions for 2017? Tell me all about them!
Anyway, I wish for you all a wonderful and prosperous 2017! Let’s thrive guys!
xoxo, from where my 7 dreams grow,