Have you ever asked yourself why you bother with New Year’s Resolutions? In this post we look at why we set resolutions for new year, and how to set goals you can actually achieve.
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How I set New Year’s Resolutions
Every year for the last fifteen, I sit down and write New Year resolutions in a form of goals. I keep them pretty specific but certainly not rigid.
For example, to write a book was on my list for the last five years at least. What this meant was that in each year I took some steps towards it.
One year, I wrote a draft outline. Another year, I drafted a chapter and then realised it was a false start. The topic was just not of that much interest for me to keep me writing.
But with each year, as the same goal and wish kept popping up on my list, it was clear that writing a book was something I really wanted. In fact I want to write many books.
Well 2011 was great! I ended up winning a book contract with Wiley for a personal productivity book. It’s a topic that is close to my heart, that I coach in and that I own. I can’t wait to see my book on the shelves in July this year.
Yes, we should we bother with New Year’s Resolutions!
So why am I sharing this with you in this blog? I guess, it’s because many magazine articles follow trends.
And the trend in popular culture at the moment is don’t bother with New Year resolutions because most people abandon them in few days or weeks. I disagree.
No matter how many resolutions I have set myself in each year – and the number did vary a lot – I have always achieved around 65% of them completely.
I now do this with people I work with as their coach. We need goals. This doesn’t mean goals have to cramp our spontaneity or fortuitous opportunities that come along.
Long-term and short-term goals
However, if your goals include long-term wishes then what better way to build motivation than through certainty that these matter to you a great deal. Otherwise why would they show up on your list from year to year?
We live in an era where achievers tell us we need to do everything NOW. Do not let this fool you. We each follow a process with a time scale that works well for each of us.
A process that allows our brain to fill in the missing bits or let certain things fall into place in a way we may not be aware. As this happens, we are still moving towards our goals and wishes subconsciously.
Writing goals down simply helps us get a handle on what’s happening and at times it provides a lever to speed things up or to save valuable time.
Revisit your list every couple of months
So, I encourage you to take few minutes and write down things you want to create and achieve every new year and revisit your list every couple of months. I bet you will likely achieve more than half of them.
No problem! Breaking down your task into short actions is proven to be more rewarding and motivating. For those of you who struggle with motivation, check out How to Do Work You Avoid: 5 Motivation Tips.
Results take time
It may feel like New Year’s resolutions are impossible to complete. But maybe it’s simply a question of changing the way you look at them.
By clearly visualising your goals, your brain is able to compartmentalise, and help you to figure out the tasks that are worth your time.
To help you achieve this, I created The Grid framework. The Grid compartmentalises our lives into four sections:
- Personal life
- Self care
The Grid method allows you to off-load your brain onto paper, and subsequently train habits that support personal and professional effectiveness. Using this formula, I want to help you in achieving the goals you have set for yourself.
If you find yourself struggling with procrastination, or would simply like to know more about building good habits, try the 14 Day Habit Builder.
Designed to adapt to your schedule, the 14 Day Habit Builder is an online, self taught course that helps to raise your motivation and build good habits for productivity.
Your New Year resolutions are more attainable than you think!