Another year is over and a new one has just begun. If you’re like most people, the beginning of a new year means a new list of resolutions and goals that you hope to accomplish. However, studies show that only 8% of people stick to these resolutions. As you write your list, take a more enlightened approach. Here’s how to have your best, and most enlightened year yet:
Reflect on the Positives of the Past
In order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. Many people make resolutions by making a list of all the things they did wrong the previous year. Instead, start with all the things you did right. By reminding yourself that you can change and accomplish great things, you will be in the mindset to meet and persevere through new challenges.
Write A Personal Mission Statement
Successful companies and brands often cite a strong mission statement as a primary key to success. A mission statement isn’t a description of the company or what its products are, it describes the purpose of the company and its key values as an organization. The purpose and values are what drive all decisions and form the culture of the company. People can have their own mission statements too. A personal mission statement states the type of person you want to be based on your values and intended actions. For example, Oprah Winfrey’s personal mission statement is: "To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be." Instead of writing your resolutions as a list of goals, start out by writing your own mission statement. What is your purpose and what are your values? By framing your resolutions as a part of the core values and purpose outlined in your mission statement, sticking with them will be much easier.
Set Smaller Goals
A lot of resolutions are generalized ideas with no real measurement of success or plan of action, like “be more productive” or “get more things done.” If you search “how to be more productive” or “how to get more things done,” the most common results involve 10-15 changes that you should make. But making 10-15 changes at once isn’t easy and can leave people feeling defeated before they even begin. The great thing about resolutions is that they can adapt as the year develops. Instead of implementing all 10-15 changes, pick a few that work for you and start small. If you were never a runner, running 3 miles every day probably isn’t the best place to start. Instead, try ten jumping jacks or purposefully leave items upstairs so that you have to take a couple of extra trips. Then, increase your level of activity as this gets easier. If you’re used to pressing the snooze button five times every morning, you aren’t going to immediately become a morning person who only needs one alarm. Gradually reduce the amount of times you press snooze until you’re suddenly at zero. By setting smaller goals, the feeling of accomplishment will provide motivation and momentum for you to accomplish the bigger picture resolutions.
Write And Think Every Day
Exercise is a great way to start the morning because it gets the blood flowing and wakes you up. But the most important muscle to wake up is your brain. Start every morning by writing. It doesn’t matter what, just write whatever you think of. The act of thinking and writing will get ideas flowing faster and more easily, meaning your days will be filled with more creativity and innovation. A quicker mind means quicker solutions to challenges and problems, allowing you to overcome obstacles and keep moving towards your goals.
This year, strive to find the path to enlightenment as you set out on accomplishing your smaller goals and larger resolutions. With a favorite pen or pencil in hand, a personal mission statement in mind, and a positive attitude, you’re bound to have your best year yet.