Resolutions? It’s March! Rob, get your shit together.
If you’re anything like me (and the vast majority of people), you’re ready to waive goodbye to February as it passes by. Also like most people — 80%, to be exact — our New Year’s Resolutions have given way to last year’s habits, and are long-behind in the rearview.
But where did things go wrong? Were we too ambitious? Too vague? Too idealistic? And how the hell can you make a resolution that actually sticks?
Whether you want to learn a new language, build an emergency fund, get in shape, or develop a new skill, you can succeed. And rather than banking on waking up at some ungodly hour to sweat it out on the elliptical or cutting back on lattes to save enough to retire in Bali one day, these six steps will help you make changes that actually have a lasting impact.
- Find your thing. If you have multiple goals, you’ll divide your efforts and lose steam on each of them. What gets you so excited that you jump out of bed in the morning? What blogs and subreddits do you follow? What will do you alone, even when your friends aren’t down? That’s the thing you should be going after.
- Make it official. Once you’ve narrowed it down, be bold about it. Write it down. Talk to as many people about it as you can, and try to find other like-minded people. They may not share the same passion for your goal, but being around inspired people is inspiring.
- Make cuts. Building a new habit takes time. Lots of time. What are you going to cut out to make time for that new habit? Create an hourly chart for your day, and find time that you’ll dedicate to your new ‘thing’.
- Break it down. Want to lose 20 pounds this year? 20 is a big number. But losing 1lb per week is doable, and you can bang that out by summer. The same thing applies for bigger goals, too. Personally, I’m huge in helping people with their personal finance. My goal is to become a well-rounded content creator, empowering people with the resources they need to educate themselves. I broke that down into multiple areas, starting by educating myself first, then focusing on strategy, writing, design, coding, audio, and video. One at a time, I’m working my way through each of those skills and inching my way towards my goal.
- Power through. Be prepared to slow down, and when you do, don’t beat yourself up about it. That said, you do need to hold yourself accountable and find a solution to get around that barrier. If you need help refocusing and getting back on track, try time blocking to power through a block, work according to your energy cycles, or just take a break. Even Bruce Wayne got 7–8 hours of shuteye.
- Respect, appreciate, and enjoy the process. If you’re sour about the path, the destination won’t be half as sweet.
I know how daunting this can be. But honest to god, it can be done. I have done or do each of these every damn day. Believe in what you’re working towards, believe in your ability to make it happen, and then just fucking go for it. Don’t wait for anybody else to give you permission, don’t listen to the people who say it can’t be done, and don’t get distracted by the noise. If you want it, go get it.