We’re a little over one month into 2020, which means that 45% of you failed to stick to your New Year’s resolutions according to BestLife. More are likely to fail as the months march on toward December. Why such a large failure rate? It could be how we set our resolutions.
Grey of Hello Internet Podcast has a cool short video (see below) about how to do New Year’s resolutions differently so you can be successful. Rather than setting specific goals, pick a theme you want to improve. For example, instead of goals, such as “I’m going to lose X pounds by next year” or “I’m going to read one book per week” identify a theme, such as a “year of health” or “year of learning.”
Themes need to be broad, directional, and resonate.
My theme is “year of balance.” Balance is a broad topic. It can be applied to my diet, exercise, how I think, how I spend my time, etc. It’s also directional. Balance moves me in the direction of flowing with how life is and how the world works. That’s an important mental training concept that we teach in the Free Mind training. That resonates with me because I love mental training.
Pick a broad theme that describes the general direction you want to navigate. The broadness of the theme allows its meaning to change: reading books can change to listening to podcasts. You didn’t fail; you changed how you achieve the theme based on what resonates more with you.
This flexibility gets you to think about your thinking, which is also an important ability for mental training; another small bonus.
A year may be too long; you may lose focus. Change your strategy to seasons: “spring season of health” or “spring season of learning.” This shorter time-frame creates a sense of urgency that helps you focus and follow through on your theme. There’ll be forks hidden in the fog along the way because you can’t see into the future very well.
But that’s OK.
The hidden forks force you to tune into how the theme resonates with you as time passes. Then, when you arrive at those forks, you can make course corrections. When you get to the next season, summer, you can reevaluate the theme and see how to tweak it.
I tend to be out of balance with my sleep and coffee consumption. I’ll focus on these during my “winter season of balance.” I’ll see how that unfolds. I may find that I’m out of balance in how I spend my time between work and play. Then I can tweak my theme for my next season, my “spring season of balance.”
How fun is that? I can change failing to meet my New Year’s resolutions to thrilling discoveries as I live my seasons of balance.
Practice Tip: Year of ???
Now, pick your theme. Remember to pick something broad, that has direction, and resonates with you.