How to Make Every Day a New Year’s Day
O.K I admit, many previous New Year’s Days have been spent trying to feel human again and recovering from a 12-hour party. But that aside…let’s talk about New Years Day.
In honesty, it hasn’t ever been something I’ve particularly understood. The idea that we wait for one day of the year to think about what we want to be doing, how to get there and then actually doing it…. well, it just doesn’t make sense. Fair enough we may have a bit of an obsession with writing notes and plans but we do that everyday. If I waited for that one day a year, then I certainly wouldn’t have a global business.
Apparently, one of the most popular self-help topics is centred around how to make a fresh start. We can make that a lot easier for you – we can do that every day – probably even more often than just once a day.
According to Nielsen here are the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions that Americans make every year:
1. Stay fit and healthy 37%
2. Lose weight 32%
3. Lose weight 32%
4. Enjoy life to the fullest 28%
5. Spend less, save more 25%
6. Spend more time with family and friends 19%
7. Get organised 18%
8. Will not make any resolutions 16%
9. Learn something new/new hobby 14%
10. Travel more 14%
11. Read more 12%
Guys and gals, we have to tell you something. Firstly, these aren’t ground-breaking goals. They are every day goals. Secondly, they actually take a lot of preparation, so in fact the ‘doing’ of them is just one factor. There is a lot of planning that needs to go into those goals to make them achievable.
Take losing weight…. we’d say a better goal is actually to eat more healthily. When you eat more healthily AND exercise, you don’t necessarily lose weight and in fact you make become heavier because of muscle mass. Anyway, the goal isn’t to be thinner, it’s to feel fitter and confident and we don’t achieve that through dieting per se.
I’m not sure what enjoying life to the fullest is, either. Comprising that goal could actually be meeting new people, spending more time with family, trying something new, exercising
more, taking up a new hobby, going out of our comfort zone, planning a trip (and saving for it), being more creative, looking for another job we enjoy more, volunteering, become more confident…you get the idea.
What we are really saying is that many of those goals or resolutions are interlinked. There’s a lot of theory at the moment that goals should be a general aim i.e. ‘be happier’ or ‘write more’ for example…but we think that for us, we need very specific goals within that. For example, to write more I will draft another book that is 15,000 by 30th July 2017. In that way, the big passion is there i.e. writing more and we put pressure and a deadline on ourselves (in a friendly way) for exactly what we mean by that, when the deadline is and how we are going to achieve it.
Some people make goal lists daily and others may not make them at all. They may be very hard working people who just don't ever seem to reach a peak. Whichever of these you are, it is always beneficial to think about what you want from life and set some formal goals. If you were embarking on the trip of a lifetime would you go without having any idea of the route that you would take?
Athletes don't go a day without goal setting, whether they are training or competing. The goals give long-term vision and short and long term motivation.
Set Simple, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals to measure your performance against. Make sure that they are achievable, even if you have some other 'out there' goals. Don't set yourself up for failure by only setting huge goals that aren't achievable in a given time period.
Make sure the process can raise your confidence by setting goals that are neither too outlandishly difficult, nor too easy.
How to set goals
Use visualization to imagine what you want to be doing with your life in, say, ten years. Use all your senses to imagine the scene of your successes. What does it taste/feel/smell like and how do you feel emotionally? Who is there sharing the occasions with you?
Start to break these 'success scenes' down into smaller targets, then again and again.
Make sure you have written the goals down with estimated dates of achieving the smaller goals.
Display the goal sheets wherever and whenever you need them for inspiration, for example in the kitchen, noticeboard, mirror and a copy in your bag.
Now work towards your goals.
As we’ve already said, many goals are interconnected and they shouldn’t just be centred on money and fame…giving back is also hugely important.
Make your ‘Resolutions’ more often
Since goals and resolutions are so interlinked, there’s really no reason to wait until New Year to make them. Get some ideas together today for the overall things that you want to do or achieve in the next few months – or even in the next week if it’s something specific. Goals can’t wait for when you feel ready and if you feel overwhelmed, just take some time out for relaxation, exercise and spending time with people who are the positive people that you need in your life.