So here we are- a few days away from the new year. It’s the time when many of us dreamers set out to make a fresh start or make things a whole lot better.
Did you know that the concept of a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ is almost 4000 years old? That’s right, the ancient babylonians were an ambitious lot! Sadly, thousands of years later, research reveals that 95% of people stop working on their resolution a mere 15 days after the first of the calendar year. We still haven’t figured it out!
I’m sure we’ve all gone through this at some point, haven’t we? Hell, some of us have even stopped making resolutions because it’s going to turn out the same anyway- forgotten.
There’s one thing I’m sure we all have in common, whether we set resolutions or not- we all want the next year to work. If you’ve been tracking this blog, you’ve read some incredible stories of people getting the job done. Let’s see what they have to say about the concept of a New Year’s resolution:
For these dreamers, New Year’s is just another day. Truth be told, they understand a clear and simple thing- ambitions and dreams cannot depend on an external event. The problem with New Year’s is that it has nothing to do with YOU. How good you feel when you make a fresh start or make things better is triggered by an external event, year after year. How are you even in control? What happens when the year gets ‘old’? We now know that it gets old in 15 days.
Now, some of you don’t make resolutions and you’re able to live the lives you want. That’s fantastic! For many of us, well, let’s be honest, not making resolutions doesn’t mean our life’s been going the way we want it to. There IS power in a resolution- one that is not dependent on the calendar or the feeling of ‘newness’.
So what’s going to be ‘key’ in making our next year great? The answer is the fourth step below- but you need to take the first three steps to get there. What you’re about to read is based on our dreamers’ views as well as some research. Here’s how we can make our 2015 count:
1. A clear vision/goal– Obvious, but needs to be said. Make it specific and clear. A few questions to ask yourself though- Does the resolution excite you? Is it compelling? Will you feel great doing it? Is it going to hurt to not get it done? If your answer to any of these is a No, you may want to reassess your goals. If you remember, Mark Rego dreamt of being in the hotel industry since the age of 15. Rajas Deshpande reached the highest levels of success in the field of neurology despite the odds. It’s pretty clear what their answers to the questions were.
2. The daily habit – Both Aditya Mehta and Kirthi Jayakumar live by this – you see it in their quotes.They don’t believe in a ‘new year’, they believe in a new day! The feeling in the newness of a day provides you with 365 exciting moments. What are your daily habits going to be? Could you allow yourself to feel as excited about a new day as you would for a new year? Do you see how amazing things could be when every day is a fresh start? Failure is a process – it is in not doing the little things everyday. Funnily, success follows the same pattern. So you can choose to experience joy in daily accomplishments.
3. Tell people– This is the hardest bit for many- announce your resolutions to a few people. That way you are planning pain. People, in their own way, can push us even with their misplaced sense of concern. This leverage can help you get things done. There is research that supports people who’ve been able to get things done ‘quietly’- but if that hasn’t worked for you in the past, try this instead. Almost all the dreamers you’ve read of didn’t achieve what they had to in secret. So, who are you going to announce your goals to? Be accountable to someone.
4. Focus on making this a lifestyle– This is a very powerful, internal realisation and it continues to make a tremendous difference to me. If you have a resolution that involves a daily action, it is human to miss it at times. 365 days of perfection may be a bit much. This is exactly where people stop. Don’t fall for it! When you skip dinner for a day, does that mean you’ll do the same the next day? Of course not! Why? Because eating dinner isn’t a resolution! It is just what you do – It’s a part of your lifestyle. Imagine treating your resolutions the exact same way. Now imagine, what it could do for your life.
The biggest mistake is stopping because you missed working on your resolution for a few days. When you make it a part of your lifestyle, you won’t stop! You’ll find a way to keep it running. Bylahalli Janardan is the perfect example- he focuses on the job and not the result. He doesn’t run for medals, he runs because it’s his lifestyle! The same goes for each one of our dreamers. Their work is a way of life, not just a goal! I really hope you see the gravity of this point- it can truly change the way you think about a resolution. A lifestyle is not an effort. It’s just the way you choose to live. Your resolution now depends on your mindset, and not an external event.
A caveat here though- while the fourth point is very powerful, be careful not to use it as an excuse. Missing a few days is NOT ok, but IF you do, get back on track – it’s a lifestyle.
So that’s that! We barely have a few days for the new year and most people are stuck in the ‘holiday mood’. They intend to ‘wake up’ in 2015 – when it is ‘new’. We all deserve a break, but do you see how dependent we are on the calendar? The end of December seems to be magically understood as a time to switch-off.
By all means, do enjoy the season – I am! I have an invitation for you though- how about taking an hour off this weekend and actually working on the four steps? One hour. That’s all. It will be our little way to beat the calendar- and that’s a great start! I promise to join you in this- I have a long way to go and I’m sure we all do, in different ways.