How To Set New Year’s Resolutions Like A Boss!
| Written by Hani Khaursar
Alrighty! Let’s roll up our sleeves, we’ve got some work to do - it’s New Year’s resolution time!
Every year millions of people go through this process and then every year we see these same people quitting their resolutions! I know, it happens. No need to fret about it. Instead, let’s try making some resolutions that are achievable for 2016.
Here are some techniques that worked for me. Using these techniques I’ve managed to quit smoking (five years and counting), create a yoga practice, lose weight, cut 90% of sugar out of my diet, start saving and write daily. I’m not going to lie, those were the wins - there were some losses too. And we’ll talk about that in this article. But hopefully, with these steps, you’ll have more wins than losses! Let’s get started:
Focus it down
It’s easy to get swept up in the frenzy of resolution making. You want to be the best version of yourself. And you want it now. Nay, yesterday. Here’s the thing, change doesn’t happen in a day. It is a deliberate process. Pick one thing to focus on at a time. I am the worst at this. I am always doing a bunch of things at a time, so I understand how hard this ‘one focus’ business can be, but I urge you, focus on one thing at a time. When I decided to quit smoking, it was the only thing I did. And I am glad! It was a herculean task to quit smoking. If I had to focus on anything else, however small, I would’ve lapsed. Pick what is most important to you right now, and focus on doing just that for a few months until you reach your goal, or you have a handle on it enough that it’s become a new, better habit.
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An unclear goal will only mean unclear results. If your goal is ‘lose weight, be happy, be fit’, then you’ll find it very hard to measure and track. Be specific. What does it mean to you to be happy? Define what ‘fit’ means to you. How much weight do you want to lose? Define your goals so that it allows you to track and measure your process.
Know your why
Yes, you’re going to have to dig deep for this one! The more you connect with your why, the easier it will be for you to stick to your goals when the going gets tough. And trust me, with almost all goals, the going will get tough. If you don’t know why you’re going to the gym every day, it’ll be easy to skip a day, or two, or more.
Plan for failure
How many of us have had moments where we think, “Oh I’ll just do this, I won’t fail. No worries!” - I know I sure have. Now I know better, and I anticipate my failures. Failing has gotten such a bad name, that we forget that it’s just an opportunity to learn. And yes, failure happens, might as well plan for them. It might seem like planning for a failure is almost like inviting failure to happen. Well, that’s one way to look at it. But another way to look at it is, reality check. So if you want to cut sugar out of your diet, and you know you need to walk past a bakery everyday, then anticipate that walk! Awareness is half the battle won!
Focus on the process
Reading The Practicing Mind by Thomas M Sterner really taught me how to focus not on the results, but the process. When we’re all caught up with the excitement of trying something new, it’s easy to gloss over the learning process and want to jump straight to the amazing results. But here’s the thing, when you’re new at something, the results are almost always the opposite of amazing. I see this all the time with people who want to pick up the guitar. When they can’t play their favourites from the get-go, they get disappointed. But your body has to build muscle memory, pick up a new skill, get used to this new thing you’re trying to make it do. Give it time, and focus on the process of learning. This way you know you’re better than you were yesterday. It’s much easier when you compare yourself to your past self, than a professional.
Someone once told me, “It’s not that you fall, it’s how quickly you bounce back that counts!” I’m gonna say it - sh*t happens. Sometimes we try our best and we can still fail. Forgive yourself, pick yourself up and carry on. It really is your bounce back that matters.
So take some time for yourself to write down your resolutions! Here’s to a fantastic 2016!
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