Many times, especially at the beginning of a new year, we fall into the trap of setting lofty resolutions for ourselves. We think that going into a new year and putting a new calendar on the wall or on our desk will magically transform our bad habits and behaviors. This rarely works and it’s the biggest reason why most of us fail at living up to our resolutions. We set up ourselves for disaster right from the get-go.
A better strategy is to simply start small and bring tiny improvements in our lives on a daily basis. Something is always better than nothing. We all know Nike’s slogan ‘Just do it’; a great companion to it is ‘Just do something’ (as pointed out by The Minimalists in their recent Livingroom Conversations).
I believe in setting goals every year, not resolutions, and breaking them into a few actionable steps that I can take daily or every weekday.
A little action taken every day becomes a revolutionary change. As Robin Sharma says, “Small daily improvements over time create stunning results.”
So, if you plan to write a book this year, simply dedicate 20-30 minutes towards writing every weekday. If you want to lose 10 pounds, simply commit to eating right 6 days a week. If you want to grow your spiritual muscle and your soulset, simply aim to meditate 10-15 minutes every day. Smart small if you need to and slowly build it up.
Just bring some small daily improvements and with time you’ll be able to establish constructive and healthy habits that will propel you towards your destination.
Along with focusing on small daily improvements, we also need to let go of any social pressure that comes with setting resolutions. There’s no need to feel compelled to set any particular resolution for yourself because your friends and family members are doing the same. Do what feels right to you. Only you know what areas of your life need work so commit to working on them.
Resolutions are essentially destinations and as we think about them repeatedly, we get overwhelmed and eventually give up. Instead, we need to detach from them and focus on the process goals and the steps that we need to take in our journey. Taking a few steps every day will not only keep you inspired but also make it more likely for you to reach your destination, or at least make significant progress.