Just like you, my New Years start with new hopes and determination or in other words goals and resolutions. I am in deep thinking mode around New Years time. It is like a tax season for my goals with mental debit and credit. Every New Year offers us a renewed optimism. It is time to shed our old skin and rejuvenate. I am a New Years Resolution person. Years after years are failing on these resolutions; I figured a major problem with my concept. Do you feel that your resolutions are failing? Here is what we do wrong. We focus on results too much and lose track of road leading to our goals. It is like looking at navigation gadget but not a road and going off the road.
Instead of focusing on resolutions, divert your focus towards developing habits leading to your resolution. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, why do not develop a habit of giving up on sugared drink/pop. If your goal is to write a book, set a time slot and write for an hour. Habit is what we do on a regular basis; habit has the power to change you.
I read a beautiful poem posted on the wall of local meditation center:
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn over to me and I will do them – quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed – you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of great people, and alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am Habit.
This Year, I am creating five new habits for myself. These five habits are directly related to my life’s goals and well-being. I am not shy to share them with you, my friend –
– An hour of Reading period
– An hour Physical activity
– Keep a to-do list
– Staying in touch with my friends on weekly basis
Simple, right! Gradually adapting to these habits and making them part of my life will help me to keep them in my life for a long run; rather than going crazy at the beginning of the new year and then getting tired and giving up. It is all about being persistent, one step at a time. I am not focusing on the results this time; therefore I will not get frustrated by not getting them soon. I will continue to water my existence and grow day by day. I am mastering habit so it can serve me later.
Are you ready to make 2016 your year, let me share five wonderful ideas to help you get there:
Be True to Yourself
When we set new goals, we set them on the foundation of wishful thinking. Some of our goals demand extreme of us. That is where we make our first mistake. Be true to yourself, know yourself and understand your strengths and weakness and then take a wise decision. Nobody is stopping you to aim high, all I am saying is to fulfill your higher dreams you need build staircase of short-term habits. Once you have a firm foundation, you can build your dream castle on it. In the corporate world, before making business strategies and goals SWOT analysis is done to keep things real. SWOT is Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. Do a swot analysis, and then create strategies/habits to meet your long-term goals.
Once we set our goals/resolutions, we need to set evaluation period too. Most of our goals are a yearly basis, 365 days in a year are enough to time to get distracted and lose focus. Goals, Resolutions, and Habits are like planting seeds, you need to water them, fertilize them on a regular basis. You can not just plant seeds and once in a while water them then expect them to grow on their own. Keep a journal and evaluate yourself weekly or bi-weekly. Do not lose track of your goals.
Not seeing results at once can be discouraging and can tempt you to give up. It is easy to quit when things get hard, but it is not ok to quit. Do not give up. Commit yourself to your goal, have a healthy relationship with it, see what is not working between you two. For example, if your goal is to lose 10lbs and after 5 lbs you have reached a point of losing no more, what are you going to do? Option A: Quit and Gain back more lbs or Option B: Stay committed and adjust your approach towards your goal. Option B, here we come!! You need to be all in. Half-heartiness will not take you anywhere.
Keep a Solid Support System
Share your goals with someone you trust, friends, family or whoever you talk. This will make you accountable plus if you are losing hope in down times, your support system can re-fill your morale. In case, you are not comfortable sharing your goals with others; I have Plan B for you. Write it down on a piece of paper; paste it on your mirror. In that way, you are accountable to yourself. Do not take it off until you reach your goal even though it will get tough. Plan C is to join the online/virtual community who share same goals and interests, follow related pages on social media so that you get support and dose of motivation to continue with your goals.
Treat Yourself for accomplishments
Learn to applaud yourself and treat yourself for little accomplishments. We do not realize, but it is important for our sub-conscious and self-esteem. When you relate little goal and celebrations, it gives you something to look forward to. For example, if you want to read 30 books a year, what incentive you have after finishing each book? You need to attach some incentive to your goal. For example, when I finish reading one book, I will go out for coffee with my friend. If your goal is to lose 30 lbs, you should set an incentive after each 5 pounds, maybe a new dress, new shirt. Success = Treat
Here we go; I hope these five wonderful ideas will help you to meet your resolutions for the new year. Do not get discouraged, do not give up and most importantly do not be scared of failure. Failure is a learning experience, use it to mend your approach and get back on track with even more determination.
Be Fearless, Be Curious and never forget that you are a universe in ecstatic motion.
Love and Sunshine. Feel Buddhaful!