Happy New Year everyone! This year I’m challenging my readers to make themselves better by taking a serious approach to 5 things they can change. Let’s get right into it!
#1 Set goals
Surprisingly, most people don’t set goals for themselves, and those of us that do never seem to make much progress. Think of your New Year resolutions, these are goals, but why do so many of us fail to achieve them within weeks? For one, we don’t actually write them down. In relation, we might think of the ways we want to be better, but we don’t commit to the “how”. Another reason we typically fall short is that our goals aren’t practical. They lack measurement of timeframe or results so when we see no progress we give up. Consider using the SMART goal system for your resolutions or goals:
Re-visit your goals every 90-days (or however often you prefer) to evaluate your progress. This will help you stay focused and will keep you accountable for your successes and short-comings. Be sure to celebrate victories by rewarding yourself for milestones and to address shortcomings with consequences. Stay honest with yourself and you’ll start to see the transformation you set out to achieve.
Humans are interesting creatures. As humans, we often accumulate things we don’t need and have a tendency to make things much more complicated than they really are. We jump to conclusions and stress ourselves out over things that may never materialize to more than a thought. These perceptions are poisonous. What if we simplified our lifestyles and our thinking? Stop working so hard to accumulate stuff and break out of the rat-race mentality that has conditioned us to not only keep up with our neighbors but which has also entrapped our thinking that simple isn’t “cool”. Life is what you make it and sometimes the simplest things in life pay the highest rewards.
#3 Act with intention
This one isn’t one we hear often but most of us don’t do. We get a crazy idea and want to jump in feet first without thinking things through, just to fall flat on our face. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. If we don’t have a good reason or understand why we desire something, then we might end up working against our greater goals in the long-run. Instead of always diving into the next great idea, consider the “why” behind an idea and whether or not it works for your current goal(s). Maybe an existing goal should be re-evaluated rather than setting new milestones. You’re more likely to fulfill your purpose by doing something if you’re fully engaged rather than just trying to hop on a bandwagon.
#4 Reframe your thinking
So often we act out of a sense of obligation. We usually have things we “must” do, when in reality, it may be more appropriate think of these opportunities as things we “get” to do. Take a step back and think for a moment about all of those that may never have the same opportunities as you and search for the gratitude. Let’s stop treating those gym workouts, kids’ soccer practices, and bill payments as obligations and be more appreciative of the fact that we even have the opportunity to do any of them.
#5 Be a better listener
This is one I bet most of you are guilty of (as am I). Instead of trying to continuously fix the world’s problems maybe we can have a greater impact by just listening. By listening we’ll not only serve as an outlet for those who need someone to vent to, but we’ll also gain so much more knowledge and understanding of others (and their problems). Of course, if you can lend a helping hand, by all means, do so, but I challenge you to become a better listener in the coming year.
I hope this list has been a refreshing approach to those run of the mill New Year’s resolutions we seem to routinely make. Take an opportunity to evaluate some of the changes you’d like to make in 2018 and incorporate some of the challenges and ideas above to increase your chances of success and happiness.
I hope you found this week’s post interesting. Be sure to follow me on social media for more posts like this.