As we fire into this new year, the talk (especially on the internet) is invariably on our goals, visions and resolutions for the new year. It’s a time of excitement, and anticipation; hope for the year coming and determination that this year… this year I’m going to make it. I’m going to make my life the wonderful example that I’ve always known it could be.
I’m going to get slim. And fit.
I’m going to get that side business started up properly and by the end of this year, it’s going to replace my income.
I’m going to find a mentor. And be brave enough to contact them. Or humble enough… I’m not totally sure if it’s cowardice or pride that is my stumbling block.
I’m going to do all the self-development things that I know I should be doing already: every day I will read 10 pages of a motivational/self-help book, listen to a motivational speaker, meditate, visualise, journal. Oh, and affirmations. Affirmations EVERY day.
Can you hear the desperation?
That’s the problem I have with New Years Resolutions. They come from a place of desperation more than inspiration.
One thing I do like about the whole ‘new year, new me’ drama, is that it pushes us to evaluate where we are in life. Are we happy with where we are, or are changes needed? Using that tired, old analogy of a plane flying from point A to point B, we need to be making constant adjustments to our direction.
If we look at where our life is going only once a year, it’s like flying a plane from Auckland (New Zealand, in case your geography is worse than mine) to Los Angeles. You land at the airport and then realise you’re not in Los Angeles, you’re in Mexico City. So you hop back on the plane and head towards Los Angeles again. You land… and realise you’re in Las Vegas. Doh!
No! You would make constant adjustments along the way. So why don’t we do that in our lives? Or maybe you’re like me and you draw up a detailed flight path, log your plan with air traffic control, find a competent pilot, fuel up, get in the plane, write a comprehensive manifest… and never actually leave the ground. :-/
So this year I’m going to do things a little bit differently.
Instead of New Years Resolutions, I’m going to do New Month Resolutions (I swiped that from Mark Manson; his latest post is on this same topic… and I’m a bit of a fan-girl. Don’t judge me.)
Think about it. If we put this much effort into adjusting our lives every month, instead of once a year, how much of a difference would that make?
And instead of making big (i.e. scary) goals to achieve over the year, we make smaller (i.e. attainable) goals that can be achieved in just that month. And if our goals are smaller, then they’re more likely to be changes in habit rather than the changes in who you are.
For example, rather than ‘lose 20kg by December 2016’ my goal is to walk to work every day (it’s only 1.5kms and it is summer), and take my lunch to work every day, for the month of January 2016. I get a sense of pride from achieving that goal, it works towards my ultimate desire to lose weight, I feel good because I’m getting some fresh air etc.
But most importantly it’s establishing desirable habits, the habits of walking to work and taking my lunch from home.
These are two habits that I want, for the rest of my life.
They’re habits that, over time, will continue to reap rewards. Even after I’ve lost the weight and I’m fit. They’re habits that any successful person would have. And I’m successful, so I’m going to have these habits. (that’s an affirmation, in case you’re wondering)
Do you think that New Month Resolutions is something that you would do? What are your New Month Resolutions?
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