2021 is around the corner, and from where we’re standing, it’s about the same time we tell ourselves (like every other year) – this is going to be my year.
I’ll read 52 books this year, run a marathon, build a fitness routine and work on my skin care.
After all, what’s the point of another year without a new year resolution that sounds good enough for us to never stick to, right?
Once we sober up from the New year, new me, we transition back into our same old selves.
So, why does our ‘well intended’ new year resolution die down after a month, or worse, a week?
Because we rely on motivation when what we really need is a system – habits which don’t die.
Or perhaps, we’re setting them up just for the sake of participating in an annual trend so we can momentarily discuss what we’re going to be doing this year and then give that up when no one is looking.
Here’s a pro tip, if you really want to stick to your new year resolution just do this one thing –
Set it for yourself, not to impress people. Self-improvement does not demand glamorisation. Unless your intention of sharing it with others is helping them and encouraging them, keep your resolution to yourself and work in silence.
This year, make your new year resolution into an every-year intention.
New Year Resolution: Hit or Miss?
Does your new year resolution list resemble the one from last year or maybe the one from five years ago?
As I said earlier, a new year resolution has become a once-a-year trend, which vanishes as soon as you step into the next month of the year and the excitement dies down.
It isn’t your resolution which is a failure, but your system, or the lack of any.
For a moment, keep aside all resolutions and attain clarity on the purpose behind setting them. Answer these questions and then decide which one to keep in your list for the year:
- Who is the resolution for, is it truly for yourself or just to show off your list to others?
- Why does it matter to stick to a particular resolution? Will it make any difference, does it make you content or help you improve in any way?
- How will it impact you – is it a skill relevant to you, or a habit you want to build?
Take a look inside yourself and reflect. Resolutions which are a self-reflection are easier to stick to; when you are involved with something that truly matters and speaks to you on a deeper level, it is bound to stay with you.
The ultimate goal shouldn’t be a resolution which goes half way, but a habit that lasts a lifetime. Habits don’t die when we do things which make us happy.
Work on forming a clear picture of what you want to create and then devise a plan to close the gap between your current position and your goal.
Therefore, step one is understanding what fuels you and the steps which follow involve a systematic injection of these habits to your daily routine.
One important thing to consider before you move further – growth is a journey, not a destination so even when you’ve reached the goal which you’ve set for yourself, there should be no stopping.
Work on a Tailor-Made Plan
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.Will Durant
We’ve read multiple articles about productivity and hustling and most of them have to do with time management or checking off lists.
While that makes sense, it’s important to realise that every person works differently, which means that there cannot be a single plan which can work as effectively for each one of us.
What you need is a vision board with clearly defined goals set in order of priority. Most people jump straight to the work without a specific goal and plan laid down – the reason why we inevitably fail when it comes to our new year resolution.
Action follows clarity and that’s exactly how you want to move forward, with a plan that works and not vague promises.
Start with your new year resolution and then devise an action plan month-wise, which can later be sorted into a list of weekly tasks. You can pace yourself as per you function and divide these tasks day-wise.
It doesn’t matter if your list of regular tasks sounds basic. Take one step at a time and remember, small steps count.
Actions translate into results. Take action. Now.
Hack your Brain with a Reward System
If you really want to make your new year resolution work, then replace milestones with habits. For instance, instead of setting a milestone as vague as ‘getting in shape’, go for a habit built through exercising for fifteen minutes everyday.
Don’t settle for one off achievements, but a system that will reap you lifetime benefits.
To build a robust mechanism and habits which last, it’s just as important to build a reward system to keep yourself motivated while you’re working your way up to the top.
A rough deadline and a reward that’s in line with things you’ve been wanting to get for yourself is a good idea to keep you going.
Make use of things you want as a fish bait and get them only when you tick off some specific tasks from your action plan.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Jot down lessons learnt from every failure and understand what could have been done differently for things to turn out better.
Don’t beat yourself up if the mental and physical energy required to keep up is too much. Avoid being self deprecating or too critical if you’re unable to pull something off.
Take a deep breath. Reset, and restart. When you start this time, you’ll already have the base set from your previous attempt and all that you’ll need will be a fresh approach.
And remember to believe in yourself and what you do, always.
For goals to work, object measurement is a requisite. A new year resolution where you can track your progress will help you realise that everything is achievable.
Organise your tasks by setting up a schedule. Mark important dates and deadlines and set reminders, whenever required.
Set a standard of measurement for personal assessment and perform a weekly or monthly analysis. You don’t have to stick to a rigid plan, be flexible enough to make room for changes so that things can take up a smooth route.
Begin 2021 by gifting yourself a planner and training yourself to organise things better. You can also make use of a journal to jot down ideas in bullet format. Not just that, a journal does an excellent job of noting your daily highlights and practicing gratitude, both of which will keep you pumped to crush your new year resolution.
So, get ready for the year that is to come and welcome it with open arms and let growth take over.