However, as you look back at the resolutions you plotted out last year, how many have you stuck to? How many goals have you hit? How many targets have you surpassed?
If you are looking at your last list and feeling disappointed at the lack of progress, then it may be some consolation to know that more than 90% of the people abandon their resolutions barely three months into the new year.
If you are thinking that perhaps the best way to stick to your resolution is to simply not have one, that’s an easy way out. It isn’t the answer. This doesn’t boil down to just willpower or a lack of it. The idea is to have more effective resolutions and achieve them in a manner that is meaningful, designed in a practical manner to help you succeed and, ultimately, fun!
There is no tomorrow
The sooner you want results, the sooner you need to start. The best time to start is today. Why wait until the New Year officially starts on the calendar? The more you think about it, mull over it, the more excuses you will find (and believe) not to begin.
There is no drawback to starting something a few weeks or even months earlier. For example, if your goal is fitness and your excuse is “The gym will offer a good deal on memberships in the new year”, why not start off right away with a run in the park or a workout at home that has no such dependencies? Just stop thinking, get out of bed and do anything that works for you. Today!
Break it down
Breaking a larger goal into smaller, manageable pieces is self-serving in that once you achieve those nano goals, the larger goal will automatically take care of itself. Often, we get fazed by the big picture and daunted at the task at hand. However, when you break it down into smaller, more realistic steps, it can work wonders.
Key here is to not over complicate your steps or break the larger goal into more steps than there are stars in the sky – you will simply end up sabotaging your own plan and it will seem even more daunting to get started! Keep it realistic, simple and manageable.
We are most efficient when focused on a single task at hand. The ability to multi-task efficiently is actually not doing a multitude of tasks in parallel, but rather, just giving each task your 100%, quickly getting it done and moving to the next. Trying to do multiple tasks at once will actually lower your productivity rate and level of perfection.
A focused approach with a mind free of distractions, your ability to get completely absorbed into a certain task, and sheer single-minded perseverance can help you move quickly forward and upward.
Make it a way of life
There’s an adage that says it takes 21 days to form a habit. This is subjective and varies from individual to individual. Just as you break a larger goal up into smaller ones, you can form a habit one day at a time. Rather than viewing something as your ‘resolution’, just look at it as making something a way of life.
It’s important that you enjoy it and derive pleasure or satisfaction out of it. For only if you feel rewarded, will you begin to truly enjoy it and stop viewing whatever the task at hand is as a burden or a pain.
Find like-minded folks
When you surround yourself with people who actively work together with you or motivate you to achieve your goals, you will be encouraged to get there quicker. An enthusiastic, motivated partner, co-worker or friend is often the driving force behind achieving one’s goals; urging you to push forward during moments of weakness or self-doubt on days that you may require that little extra nudge – or sometimes, just a pat on the back for reassurance.
Be kind to yourself
Now this is something that is far too often undermined. We are often pushed to adopt a carrot and stick approach to everything, including the achievement of our goals or resolutions. There’s nothing wrong in rewarding yourself for a job well done, a goal well accomplished.
However, there’s no need to be overly harsh or hard on yourself for when you slip or drop the ball. Beating yourself up will solve nothing and, in fact, can be detrimental as it can potentially send you flailing down that slippery slope of self-doubt, disappointment and depression. Rather, make failures your most valuable lessons. There is a lot of learning in failure. Look for those insights and use them to improve your plans, plug gaps or fix processes.
Here’s hoping that 2019 is a year of achieving everything you set out to do and more; a year of fulfilment and true happiness; a year of discovering your Ikigai.
Rati Shetty is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of BankBazaar.com, prior to which she was with Kraft Foods. Rati plays a key role in conceptualizing the look and feel as well as the usability and versatility of the website. She has been the driving force behind the team to deliver clean, clutter-free and simple user experiences for complex products such as loans, credit cards and insurance products through smart technology and intelligent interface design.
She has been on the management team of Vinati Organics Limited since 2006 and balances the technical/manufacturing execution with her marketing abilities combined with new age aggression.