Knowledge Centre

New Year’s Resolutions? …forget about them

Obviously, the new year brings with it a swag of resolutions, mostly useless and doomed, but nevertheless, that won’t stop us from adding our two cents worth to the ever expanding opinion on achieving more in life.

Firstly, most of you are on the right path because you chose to sign up to an online goal setting app – in our case Lifetick – and you did it during the calendar year, which means that you didn’t need the motivation of a new year to pull the proverbial finger out. Therefore, this would suggest one of two things happened in your life in the last 12 months: inspiration or desperation. Regardless of which, if you are using the product consistently then you will be achieving more, so congratulations on that.

A second key point that should not be underestimated is the financial investment some of you have made for the full version of Lifetick. This is important because people feel more committed toward something and value it higher if they have had to pay for it. This is for two reasons: cynically we presume that something free isn’t worth anything and more interestingly, by investing in something we feel the need to get our money’s worth out of it.

But the reality is, none of this will really get you over the line in terms of getting more out of life. In fact, if you are relying on a new year’s resolution to make for a better life then you are sadly deluded. Sure you can pay for an online goal setting app to make yourself feel better, but how many times in life do we buy a bicycle or pay for a gym membership only to see it rust or go to waste. It is a classic case of HAVE-DO-BE. If I just HAVE this then I’ll DO more and I’ll BE happy. Where we need to be focused in our endeavours is the complete opposite: BE-DO-HAVE.

What is BE-DO-HAVE? Firstly, it’s a philosophy. A way of life. If I BE this person and I DO these things then I will HAVE abundance. Effectively, it is putting the horse in front of the cart where it belongs. It is easy to make excuses for ourselves, but if we haven’t got the wiring correct at the outset, then surely, we are doomed to fail.

Therefore, what advice can be given based on this? I’ll break it down to a small list:

  1. Re-wire your brain. BE-DO-HAVE. Take responsibility for where you are in life and use that as your starting point. Doesn’t matter if it’s a long way back, at least your compass will be correct.
  2. Sit down and think about what you want to be different in your life. Write these things down.
  3. Apply the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting methodology. If something doesn’t add up then scrap it. Ever noticed how many NY resolutions are vague and therefore don’t fit the S.M.A.R.T. methodology? You can forget about achieving a single one of your resolutions if they are in any way, shape or form vague.
  4. Cast your eye over your goals. If you are having doubts about one, scrap it. Isn’t that giving up? No. The reality is that goal setting really helps work out what we REALLY want in life. The truth is that most things in life we don’t REALLY want. Sure, they’d be nice to have if there was no effort involved, but life is not like that. Otherwise, we’d all win the lotto. Make your list count. If you really want something, it will be a goal.
  5. Now the hard part. Daily inspiration. Find it any way you can. This is what will make or break you. Some ideas:
    a) Read a famous quote every morning when you get out of bed e.g. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
    b) Put pictures and reminders of your heroes on your walls, computer screen, as bookmarks, on notepaper.
    c) Get in rhythm. Listen to music that inspires you. Make a compilation of the songs that make you feel better about yourself and keep you motivated when you need it.
    d) Use an affirmation. Not for all, but some swear by them. Worth trying.
    e) Share your dreams with someone you can trust. No, not a random on the Internet. Someone who will take them seriously and believe in you. You should ask this person to follow up with you every one to two weeks to check your progress. If he (or she) is a true friend, he will care and it won’t be an effort for him.
    f) Start a good habit, by breaking a bad habit. If you can start one good habit then you can start a hundred. Find the easiest one and give it 21 days. Prove to yourself you have it within you.
    g) Read biographies of inspirational people every 2-3 months. You’ll soon feel the effects of their lives wear off on yours.
  6. Finally, let go. That’s right. Let it happen. Find time each day to pray, meditate, contemplate or just be still. Whatever it is that works for you. Life is about balance, so if you’re too busy achieving you may not be enjoying the fruits of your labour. Find your own balance.

Tools like Lifetick will certainly help you with organisation, reminders and motivation here and there, but your drive will come from within. Find a way to tap into that. It is different for everyone, so beware those who promise the world with their wares.