With 2023 just around the corner, let's talk about the yearly tradition that happens after you've drank your champagne (or cider) and sung Auld Lang Syne - resolutions.
Every January you see people posting on social media how they're going to shave off their love handles or read x number of books by year's end.
And every year, those promises are broken.
Why? Because the traditional thought process behind New Year's resolutions is wrong.
Resolutions are year-long commitments, which is crazy! I mean, I don't always know what I'll be doing - or where I'll be - the next month.
It's like Bitcoin - you have no idea what's going to happen.
So what can we do instead?
How to be Successful
Well, here's how I approach my "resolutions."
First of all, I don't even like the idea of resolutions - it's like locking yourself into an unwanted contract or going on a 6-hour road trip with no pit-stops (yikes).
The other reason I don't like resolutions is that there's usually no plan involved, and a goal without a plan is just a dream.
So instead, I think "what projects do I want to accomplish?" By working on multiple projects, you create lasting momentum and satisfaction.
You're going to have to experiment, but what works extremely well for me is dividing the year into 3-month periods - what businesses call "quarters."
Within these quarters I work on several projects simultaneously or bigger ones broken down into smaller components.
It's also the perfect timeframe. At the end of each 3-month period, I'm ready for reflection. If things are going good, I'll keep most of my plans in place for the next quarter.
However, sometimes I'll change course entirely.
It's about giving yourself options. To enjoy your work as much as possible, one way is to feel in control. To feel in control, give yourself plenty of choices.
So if I'm not feeling good about the work I'm doing, I have no problem with changing my mind on a whim.
Additionally, you'll want to track your time because it will give you vital information.
I do this every:
When you review on a weekly basis, it keeps you focused.
For example, I'll look back at a certain week and notice I've fallen behind on my time spent on certain activities. Maybe I had too many cocktails or screen-time (pick your poison). Maybe I had obligations, like going to the doctor's office or taking my pups to see their vet.
Either way, the weekly reflection keeps me on track.
Monthly and yearly reviews are just as important because it's like having different "vantage" points. For instance, feel the difference in perspective:
You see the big picture (monthly, yearly) as well as the details (weekly).
Now, over a longer period of time you'll notice patterns. Since I have records dating back to 2015, I can see how my work habits have changed.
From 2017-2018, you can see I increased "work" hours (focus on $$$) while decreasing time spent on learning ?
Not only that, it helps me plan for the next year. For example, I notice I spend a lot more time on tasks, other than teaching, in December. When I look at my calendar, I can see it's because a lot of students are taking time off before the new year.
Because of this, I know exactly what I want to do when winter arrives.
Expectation creates productivity.
Vaya Con Dios
We look to the past in order to have a successful future. This is the reason why we study history - not only to learn new lessons, but to see how errors repeat themselves (ever read about the Spanish Flu?).
By planning your future, you'll avoid making the same mistakes. This is something the most successful people do - you'll overhear them talking about their next decade (instead of their next vacation).
If you did this, imagine the story you could write for yourself. When all is said and done, what do you want your history to say?
I wish nothing but the best for you in 2023 and hope this post gets you started the right way.
Happy practicing and Happy New Year!
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