They say that doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
Let’s face it, it’s happened to one and it happens to all of us. “This year, I will…” and that’s about as far as it goes, really. What’s with these resolutions we keep not resolving? We think we will do them, we want to do them, a good chunk of us even actually start putting them into effect, but for the most part, these aspirations spread their wings and have the lifespan of a butterfly. That’s an average of one to two weeks. Some species may live up to six months, which, for the sake of this metaphor, just means you’re doing a better job than most. Look at you go.
THIS year will be different! Sounds like the start of the same story, but we’re going to look at this from a less naïve perspective. All BS aside, those goals aren’t going to happen by themselves. If you want different results, then a different approach is called for. Implement the following six tips in your daily life and see if this new year can bring out that new you!
- Out of sight, out of mind
Put yourself in an environment conducive to your goal. Have a clear vision in your mind the results you want and remind yourself why you’re doing it.
Example 1: You’re saving up for a car.
Problem: You’re a year behind in savings
Solution: Put the car as your laptop wallpaper. Go out once a month instead of every weekend. Giving up 30 weekends = 30 weeks closer to your car.
Example 2: You want to go on a diet
Problem: You pass by Burger King and Cinnabon on your way to work.
Solution: Take a different route. It’s longer, so you get to walk more and burn more calories every day.
- Want it bad enough
If you were challenged to draw a horse for the sake of drawing a horse, you’d probably pass. Here’s the scenario: you’re an art student, broke, and failing some courses. The dean comes up to you with the challenge and says that if you fail to draw the horse, you’re done. If you succeed, you’ll receive credit for your failed courses and a scholarship for your last year.
Result? You draw a stallion with impeccable detail and can’t stop smiling as you turn it in. Actual scenario? The dean is confused, as he never said any of those things; you’d made it all up out of too many all-nighters, but he lets you pass one course because it is good work, all things considered.
The point being, with the right motivation, you’d be surprised at what you’re capable of. If your back’s against wall and you’re left with no other option, you suddenly find your resolve. This new year, what’s your motivation? What do you want bad enough?
As in the technique. You know, the same one you use to memorise phone numbers, chunking the digits into groups – if there are ten, it’s easier to remember two, four, four. Effective, and the same concept applies to your goals. A lot can happen in a year, so rather than stressing about what you’re going to do this year, why not shift the focus to what you’re going to do this week? Or even today!
Focus what you can control, here and now. If you chunk your goals into weekly plans and complete them, then suddenly monthly plans don’t seem all that much. Checking off your to-do list, having those mini-accomplishments, every day – that’s what it’s all about. Those are what give you your daily dose of victory – and 365 victories later, you have your New Year checked off.
- It’s all up here
Mindset, mindset, mindset. It’s all how YOU look at it and yes, we’ve all heard this before, time and time again. Whatever it is you want changed; if you look at it as something that should be done, could be done, it’s more likely to get pushed back. If, however, you see it as something that must be done, you’ve just increased its priority in your mind.
How you set your “resolutions” works to the same effect. “This year I will exercise more,” a golden classic. What’s more? When? Write it down as a plan, and if you can, start that same day! Waiting just allows for more things to get in the way; getting it done on the same day you’ve set out to do it reinforces how it’s both doable and rewarding.
- Love the process
Let’s not sugar coat it, it’s not easy. If it were, everyone would get their New Year’s Resolutions sorted in a heartbeat. Truth is, the value of the desired results is directly proportional to the amount of effort it takes to get them. If it’s important, then it’s hard to do. You can’t have clouds without the dirt – in other words, you can’t just want the results without the process of getting it.
Most people avoid pain and forget that without it, we wouldn’t appreciate the outcome as much. The best part? The pain just makes the results even more satisfying, to the point where you’ll appreciate the pain even more. Love the process, because that’s what gets you what you want.
6. Bring value to others
Might sound surprising, but it’s not all about you. Doing things for other people, without thinking of how it benefits you, is how we all make each day, week, month at a high note for everyone. What kind of energy do you give out to your surroundings? Some days are good, some bad, so let’s bet on the first every chance we get.
Train yourself to think that way every day and don’t let your day be complete without it. Before you know it, the one thing that’s certainly new this year is that you were better in it.
Make your day awesome. The reset is automatic, and it happens 365 times a year.
Boom. There’s your list, so what are you waiting for?