It’s that time of year again – time not to live up to your New Year’s Resolutions.
As we enter January, the longest month of every year, we are more often than not filled with hope and determination. We write down a list of resolutions, and we vow to stick to every single one of them.
But, just a couple of short days into the year, we usually stumble for the first time. And that’s because we try to change our entire life overnight and live up to a set of unrealistic expectations we’ve set for ourselves.
So, let’s all make an effort this year not to make New Year’s resolutions we can’t hope to adhere to. Instead, read on to learn how you can turn your resolutions into an evolution that will last a lifetime.
Take Small Steps
One of the reasons we fail at sticking to our New Year’s resolutions is that we tend to bite off much more than we can chew. We set too many goals and fail to break them up into smaller, manageable chunks.
In order to achieve any goal, start by breaking it into achievable steps. For instance, if you want to start a company, write out all the steps you need to get there. Jot down everything from choosing a business name to hiring an accountant, and so on.
Make sure you do one tiny thing every day – even if it’s just 15 minutes at a time. This will help you feel like you are actually accomplishing something and bring you closer to your goal every single day.
Add all of these tasks to your daily to-do list and tick them off as you go along.
Take Yourself into Account
If you set goals that you won’t be able to achieve, you won’t just be setting yourself up for failure. On top of that, you will also be responsible for making yourself feel quite miserable.
Before you commit to a resolution or an evolution, consider who you are, what you can and cannot control, and go from there.
For instance, if you want to take on more clients but barely have time to handle your current workload, you will most likely fail. Instead, try to set yourself a different goal. Perhaps you can work on becoming more efficient or increasing the price of your services?
Commit to a Healthier Lifestyle
We often fail to take into account just how important our physical and mental health is for achieving our goals. We work harder and longer, often sacrificing sleep, eating takeout, and not working out in order to get more done in a day.
What you should actually be doing is the complete opposite. Devote extra time to levelling up your health and mindset.
Here are some useful habits to adopt:
- Add sleep to your daily planner, and don’t sacrifice it for anything more than once a week.
- Start meal planning and meal prepping so that you always have a healthy meal ready to go.
- Learn how to breathe better to increase your energy levels.
- Do some exercise every day. Whether it’s a long walk or a yoga session, move your body every day.
- Find a way to destress and debrief every evening. Journaling, chatting to a friend or family member, or dancing to your favourite music are all great ideas.
Apply the 2-Minute Rule
Trying to adopt a new habit will always be challenging. In order to give yourself a head start, consider applying the 2-minute rule, but with a twist.
If you, for instance, have to get to the gym, you will often feel paralyzed by a bunch of decisions. You have to change, get there, warm up, and so on. You will also start to think about the exercises you need to do, how tired you are feeling, and maybe how much you actually dislike going to the gym.
The 2-minute rule we want you to apply is simple: only focus on the first two minutes of any task, and take it from there. Then focus on the next two minutes. And so on.
In our gym example, the first two minutes will involve packing your gym bag, putting your shoes on, and leaving the house. That’s it. That’s all you need to do.
When you break major tasks up like this, especially the ones you dread, you’ll find them much easier to stomach.
If you set yourself too many goals, you’ll soon get quite overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you need to tackle every day to achieve them all. We’re not saying that you only need to be working towards one goal at a time – merely that you should prioritize them.
The goals that are most important to you should be given the most attention and the largest chunk of time per day. Each smaller goal should then get less and less time per day. Remember, even as little as 15 minutes a day can help you read a book, learn a new skill, and grow your business. But, it’s important to know which tasks deserve 30 minutes and which might only need five.
How you choose to prioritize will be up to you. You can start with the goal that will be easiest to achieve and set yourself up for success early on. Or, you can choose the opposite route and start with the most difficult one.
You can, of course, always shift priorities as time goes on. You’ll realize which goals you care about more or which can be achieved in less time than you originally anticipated.
Becoming better at anything takes time. Our instant gratification lifestyle often holds us back, as we are used to getting a lot of what we want practically as soon as we want it.
In order to get where you want to be, remind yourself that patience is still a virtue. Remember that just because you may not achieve something this year doesn’t mean you’re failing or that you are slow or less-than.
Work at your own pace, and remember to enjoy the process. After all, that’s what it’s all about.