Why make New Year’s resolutions?
One could argue that you shouldn't wait until midnight of the end of a Gregorian year to instill changes in your life. I’ll admit this is a true statement; you could be a new and better you tomorrow. All you have to do is wish for it and there you are. A new and better you. Of course we all know that isn't how life work; in order to create new habits in our lives or instill any kind of change it takes effort, planning and some degree of self-trickery to change homeostasis. Even so, why the New Year? Well… why not? The fact of the matter is that in order to set a goal, also known as “a dream with a deadline”, we have to set a time scale on achieving it. Otherwise it is nothing more but wishful thinking. That is not to say you couldn't set up daily goals, weekly, or monthly goals (aka 30 day challenges). We cannot forget to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, make sure our boat called Vita remains true to its course.
I have been making resolutions every New Year since before I was a teen. Have I nailed every single one or even most for that matter? No of course not; but I have never been discouraged from making sure to put them on paper.
I begin by reflecting back on the year and try to focus on the few things that I would really like to change about myself. Emphasis is always placed on things that I have control over. A goal such as “getting a better job” isn't always achievable, but a goal such as “be more social” is. Now some people say that goals need to be actionable. Well, they would be correct, but resolutions are more than simple check-boxes. They’re an opportunity for growth and self-improvement.
I’ll begin by saying that in a few months I will be 28 years old. Depending on your own age that may seem as very young or very old. For me, it’s the realization that I am not far from becoming the generation that shapes this world, and frankly it’s about time I got my shit together. Don’t get me wrong I’m doing alright by any standard, in fact better than alright but more than anyone else I know where I fall short. When things are good I overspend, I’ve become complacent, my future is not as clear as it used to be, and I am constantly pulled in hundreds of directions.
1. This year I will learn to say “no”. I will say “no” to myself when I want to eat that delicious bagel. I will say “no” to alcohol even if I know I can handle it. I will say “no”, so that I can start saying “yes” to the things that really make me happy.
2. I will focus on saving towards a business by opening up a new savings account called “Start-up” -- Thanks Babe <3
3. I will stop paying fees. I will stop giving away my money to banks, excessively tipping for service, and paying for any additional charges. The money I save will go towards my own goal or be donated via http://www.donorschoose.org/
Those are the big ones, but things usually don’t stop for me there. I like making checklists too of things I would like to achieve and meticulously planning each month for when and how I will tackle these goals. So here is the rest of my list:
· Reach $10,000 milestone in the start-up fund
· Get to 10% body fat by June
· Eat the same thing for 60 days [challenge]
· Meditate for 30 days straight [challenge]
· Score 730 or higher on practice test for a GMAT
· Take the GMAT
· Attain at least two professional certifications
· Establish an internet presence
· Meet ambitious people who want to change the world
· Speak at a conference
· Hire a GVA to optimize routines
· Learn to surf in the summer
· Go Skiing twice in the winter
· Get a tailored suit/s
· Publish at least one mobile application
· Focus on habit building
As you can see this list is less focused and is a result of general brainstorming. My advice is to focus on just one thing every month, and slowly cascade things from the previous months down to the next. For example; if my goal is to look great this summer, then I don’t plan to wait until March to build good work out habits, I’ll start now! More on fitness in another blog post. After 30 days of consistent workouts, I will attempt to start building better habits for drinking water, or possibly improving on sleep, or maybe practice cooking for myself every single week. Only after I build up those habits (which actually take much longer than 30 days to become habits) I will attempt something challenging like eating the same foods for 60 days.
All I am saying is, don’t bite of more than you can chew, and chew slowly. Life isn't a race but a journey.