Yup, you read that correctly. It officially starts a new year and that, hopefully, means new beginnings and start overs for many. The start of a new year is a psychological refresher from the last year. It lets you shed all those annoying habits from last year, eating too many leftovers, not exercising enough, watching (NOT) enough TV, or not traveling enough.
Creating Your List of Achievable Goals
Many people have already started their list, including these popular ones. The one item that starts strong today is gym memberships. Right now millions of people are hitting the gym to get started on getting that healthy inshape body they always wanted. That also means the tons of new blogs and youtube channels being created to track their progress online. For the regular gym goers right now means packed gyms, not enough parking spots, overcrowded classes, and long lines to use certain machines. They can’t wait until march and April when all those resolutionists’ slowly give up on their plans
That right there should not be you in three or four months giving up on your idea for change. Change is all about personal habits so if you are looking for a real change you have to keep at it everyday (or at least a regular time during the week). If you do not make it a regular habit it will slowly die out. So how do you change that?
1. Isolate your activities throughout the day
The reason why so many people stop their new years resolutions is because they load up their schedule with so many things that one starts to demand more attention than the other. If you want to workout in the morning and you are a parent that means getting up by 4:30, at least, to jog and exercise (this is to say you workout at your home with no gym equipment) and then shower and get breakfast ready before everyone wakes up. So by 6:30 your parenting duties kick in and you start a new activity. Don’t let your exercising go past an hour because you need time to shower, clean and get dressed, if you go over that means your parenting duties suffer and your kids will let you know by asking why breakfast is not on the table when it should be (this is to say you are still a new parent, not a parent with teenagers capable of feeding themselves.)
2. Limit Your Day to at Least 5 Activities, no more
If you are single with no tie-downs then you can add more activities but again don’t over schedule because when special events happen it will require more of your time. So be aware of how much time you plan to give for each activity. If you plan to be more social, then joining 2 to 3 new organizations is a good way to start off, don’t add one for everyday day of the week because you will start to stretch yourself to thin.
5 activities a day means that each one takes up no more than 30 to 60 minutes of your time. If you want to get an online education, then make sure you count studying and homework as part of your 5 activities and not as one whole thing.
3. Look at the long term goal of your resolution and be honest about it
Find out exactly how you plan to include your resolutions into your already existing habits. It’s very difficult to break old habits so be aware of that and know what your weaknesses are. If you want to start a business then it is a good idea to take each step a week at a time. For example; Week 1. Learn what it takes to start a startup; Week 2. Talk with others who have started a business and find out what they learned about it the first time; Week 3. Determine how to find the resources you need; Week 4. Take classes and workshops on the various subjects of starting a business. etc.
When you break down your goals into weekly goals you begin to see the structure of it all. The same for those that want to start eating healthy, pick certain days or meals that you want to slowly start to change. Instead of eating sugary cereal in the morning, make it a point every other day to eat oatmeal or fresh fruit with an egg and juice. Then slowly build from there and see when you want to be eating healthy all the time.
4. Use Stepping Stones to the larger goal
There are many people who want to start cold turkey and go strong the first couple of days. The problem with this method is that you are going full steam with a body that is not conditioned to the new methods so it wants to give up right away. The way to get around this is to prepare yourself with getting into the habit of doing the same thing and see if it is something you can handle.
You want to start a business and think you can handle the daily requirements? Start a blog and see if you can deal with writing everyday and keeping up with the demand that a blog requires. This works also for those that want to write a book. The act of sitting down and writing everyday matches with the same demands a business requires, the only difference is that if you find that you can not handle the blog after three weeks you can shut it down and delete it; a business is very different once you start selling, taking people’s money and personal information because all of these have legal and IRS issues that you have to take care of in the long run. If you find that handling a blog is too hard then at least you can avoid a major headache with trying to run a business.
5. Your social life also has a big influence on your resolutions
There are plenty of studies to show that who you hang out with and spend your time talking to has a big influence on what it is you want to accomplish in life. The social influence effect of groups has a big motivating factor in how far you reach your goal. Women who are overweight that join a gym together and eat together have a higher chance of reaching their goals if they maintain their regular schedule. When one lady sees another losing weight it motivates them to try harder because they know that if they do not lose weight then it will feel bad to be around people who are reaching their goals and you are not.
Want to start a company? Join startup groups that bring similar minded individuals together?
Want to write a book? Join a writing group that forces you to sit down and write with no excuse.
Want to learn how to do woodworking? Join a group that will teach you how to get started right away?
Want to travel more? Join a group that takes day trips in their area.
If you can not find any then start one yourself and post it on a social network and build from there. Meetup.com is a billion company based on the idea bringing similar minded individuals together for a single purpose because they knew the potential connecting people had. Mark Zuckerberg took advantage of his social network by asking his users to tell him what his new year’s resolutions should be.
If you get stuck, join a group right away to get unstuck! Ask for help and ideas from other people. This is very important when you feel your resolutions are hard to achieve. Don’t wait for anyone to motivate you, you have to get going and out that door and doing something. Stay activate for as long as you possible can and never ever stop learning and growing as a person.
Getting Unstuck in Life
We all get stuck, it’s part of life but getting unstuck is hard for many. That is why you need to constantly be looking for new ways to grow. Here is a list of things I have put together that will inspire you to create some amazing new year’s resolutions. Your list should include at LEAST 20 items because when broken out among the year comes out to a reasonable number.
Do you need help on what to include on your resolution list or wish list or bucket list?
Check out the site Bucketlist.org where you can get ideas, get inspiration from others, and work on making your wishes come true by seeing how other people achieved their goals. Movies like The Bucket List and Everybody’s FIne are also inspiring films to watch, including About Schmitt.
Maybe you have lost your sense of wonder and need reminding about how great life is. That happens, and when Neil Pasricha lost some of the most important things in his life he turned to creating a blog, that has since gone on to win him many awards and being asked to give a TED talk that has since gone on to inspire more people. He created the now famous 1000 Awesome Things Blog, which he still updates to his day. He even has a book now from his blog and has gone on to do more motivating talks and his blog even has its own wikipedia page.
There are many lists out there about what you should do based on some of the popular resolutions like the one you read at the beginning of this article. I am always on the look out for unique bucket lists and came across a few. One that I like is this guy’s bucket list, the same one who did the 5 minute time lapse from when he went around the world.
Here are some lists to pick and choose from so you can get inspired about what you want to accomplish this year.
Maybe some of these are too far to visit and can not afford the trip. Use a site like Trevolta to crowdfund your trip anywhere in the world. If you just want to start small then here is a great list of places to visit in Austin if you want to get out more. There is one item they did not mention that needs to be on the list and that is Stubb’s Gospel Brunch buffet. It is every sunday from 10:30 to 12:30 pm downtown.
So if you want to write a book, learn about Amazon’s Kindle Directing Publishing.
You want to become a programmer and software developer then sign up for codeacademy and practice everyday.
Maybe you just want an all around education then sign up for Khanacademy.
While your at it think about learning a new language with Duolingo.
Or maybe you just want to watch good movies and read quality books, a free public library card is all you need then to accomplish that.
All these options are free to use and learn from so it is only a matter of self-discipline of following through with the work. An hour a day from each one will have a huge impact in three months. Imagine all that you will have accomplished if you just make the time.
The options are plenty so look around and make sure the goals you set for the year are worth your time and effort in the end. I might even share my wish lists on this blog later on.
Happy New Years!
Make It a Good One