This is the time of year when New Years Resolutions are forgotten and people resume their regularly scheduled shenanigan-filled schedules, but you can still win…if you want to. For years, I’ve been that person who would jump on the resolution bandwagon, fall off then beat myself up because I hate not seeing goals come to fruition, but eventually I started revamping how I did things and it seems to be working.
My problem was that I viewed resolutions like fads. Everyone set them and then forgot about them before first quarter ended. However, after some self-reflection I realized that seeing my resolutions as on-going goals–longterm and short–was a better way to set foundations for improvements that I wanted to make in my life. Instead of starting on January 1, I began applying ideas whenever the inspiration struck and started taking steps toward getting more involved in the process and not the instant gratification of the end result happening in the blink of an eye. Solid progress is like a garden, you must be mindful and tender in fostering its growth.
Here are eight tips for making life improvements a reality.
1. Be Patient
I struggle with this one every day. There are so many things that I feel that I should have accomplished by my age that I haven’t, and I beat myself up about them a lot. I often have to reason with myself about the fact that some things take time and some things can be accomplished swiftly but it all takes strategy. In the meantime, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve already done, what you feel positive about and be grateful for those things. It can take the edge off you beating yourself up about what you lack.
I wish it were that simple because I am the queen of ripping myself to shreds but I promise to be better about showing gratitude this year.
2. Focus on the Process
Get lost in the journey and don’t harp on the end result. Focusing on the ending is a fast track to frustration and therefore quitting prematurely, especially if you don’t see the type of progress that you’re looking for in a specific period of time. Take it slow, be present in the now but keep the finish line in the back of your mind. Even short term milestones can be rewarding.
3. Set Goals and Cultivate New Habits
Think of goals and intentions for your personal development (whether it’s career, family, etc) and develop realistic habits that can eventually and gradually become part of your every day life. Keep practicing until they become second nature.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up (once again, I should be taking my own advice). If you fail, try again and keep trying until you start to achieve success or until you reach a point where you think you should reassess what you want and what you should be doing in order to win.
5. Be Authentic
When you’re posting that selfie of yourself in the mirror at the gym with hashtags like, #Gymflow and #beastmode, are you working out because you want to or because it’s the obligatory “I have to work off that holiday weight and show people that I go hard thing?” If it’s the latter then you’re only wasting your time with something that won’t fulfill you.
6. Stop Comparing Yourself
There’s a popular quote floating around that goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I don’t know who said it but it’s so true. One of my goals moving forward is to force social media breaks on myself whenever I feel myself hating on someone who I think may not be as talented or who has what I think I should have or who I feel doesn’t deserve what they have. That is a toxic mode of operation. It drains your energy and redirects your focus toward building destructive habits, which means you don’t make any progress at all. Remember that people only post snippets of their lives on social media so it may seem overwhelmingly good or like their success happened overnight but in reality, you don’t know their whole story or journey. As far as people who seem less talented getting all the glory, even if you are smarter or faster or more creative, their reality isn’t going to change yours so put those tunnel vision glasses on and focus on your lane.
7. Don’t Share Everything
Sometimes all it takes is one naysayer who doesn’t get your vision or who has no visions of their own to convince you to be stagnant. These are the people who when you tell them you want to take up ballet say, “But you’ve never danced in your life?” or, you say you want to go to Japan and they reply with, “But what about the radiation? or “But you don’t speak Japanese.” That’s why you shouldn’t always share your intentions. It may be OK to share some but be mindful about what you reveal.
8. Try Again
You may have quit at the moment but if there’s something that you really want to accomplish then start again. Every day you wake up is a new opportunity to refresh and refocus.
That’s what I have for now but did I leave anything out? How do you keep yourself on track?