Every year, come January, people think of new beginnings and making resolutions for change. Sadly, by the end of the month, most of those promises we have made to ourselves are broken.
What can you do to really transform your life in a positive way? First of all, rather than just thinking about the coming year, get clear on what you really want for your next 25 years.
Billionaire financier Warren Buffett recommends making a list of the 25 things you really want to do before you die. Writing things down is very important when it comes to accomplishing things. Think big and list everything! Then, keep just the top 5 goals and never think about the other 20 ever again!
You have to really, really want something in order to commit to doing the work to achieve it. What is causing you the most pain? Focus on fixing that.
The next step: Write it down! This can be in a notebook, on your laptop or even your phone. Make a plan, broken down into action steps with a timeline. For example, if you want to work out more, schedule appointments in your calendar to do your workout. Pick times that will be convenient so it is easy to honour your commitment. Decide if the gym is more motivating or the convenience of a bodyweight workout at home with a resistance band and dumbbells would be better. Do you need a trainer to keep yourself on track? Give some thought to things that might go wrong (a busy schedule, illness, etc.) and how you will get back on track if you ever have something important interfere.
When you fail, don’t give up. If you have vowed to give up junk food, don’t tell yourself that this one cookie has ruined everything and proceed to eat the whole bag. Enjoy your indulgence and then get back on the program. Persistence over time, even with setbacks, will eventually get you to your goal.
If you find you are not making progress, consider ways to motivate yourself. Having a reward to look forward to works for some people. Others may need to think about hiring an expert or coach for some external motivation to help them get to their goal. Some people do better when there is accountability to another person or group and need reminders and support, so this could be money well spent.
Finally, if you are really serious about achieving your goals, you need to ask yourself what sacrifices you are willing to endure. You will have obstacles and need determination to keep going. Focus on just the single most important goal and eliminate all the rest.