I used to think new years resolutions were a waste of time. I had the attitude that if you wanted to change something then there is no time like the present. There wasn't a need to wait for a special day to get things started. If you wanted to do something, just go ahead and do it. Easy to say when you’re a 25 year old, living at home with little responsibilities and an amazing mother that would cook, clean his clothes and make his bed for him.
Flash forward a few years and on the verge of turning 33, living with a wife who also works full time, running a business together and trying to look after a needy pooch (no kids yet!). And perspective changes a little. I can appreciate now why having a reset point like new years day (or even a new week or month) can be valuable starting point for some to start making the changes to their life they have been waiting for.
As the world slows down and every takes a collective breath after the Christmas period, you have time to get the ball rolling on your next adventure, set new goals and make plans for the next 365+ days of life. Often times for many people though this is where the process ends.
So if you are serious about the goals or plans you have decided on for this year here are a few tips that I find are the keys to success. First of all make sure your goals are meaningful and you have a good understanding of why you want to achieve them (seemed like a good idea at the time, isn't really a great start). And then….
“Start where you are, with what you have.”
“The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second best time is right now.”
I could keep rolling with the quotespiration but you get the point. When you wake up today (hopefully you read this on New Years Day). Get something done. Take 1 step that gets you just a little closer to your goal. Even if you're hungover from too much sparkling wine or seedy AF from the 4am kebab. Take at least 1 step towards your goal.
Want to get fitter? - Go for a run.
Want to be stronger - Sign up to a gym. .
Want to learn Spanish? - Download a language app.
Want to socialise more? - Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while (or text if you need baby steps).
What ever your goal, do 1 thing today that will get you closer, and before you go to bed tonight plan out what needs to be done tomorrow to add to that. Repeat that process. Day after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, after day, and so on until you reach your goal.
Since I finished playing football, I have gone from being able to run 10kms barely breaking a sweat to running 10m and feeling like I was going to fall in a heap, so a goal of mine is to get back into running consistently (2 x per week). Being the overachiever I am, I decided to get a head start. Before I got stuck into the BBQ and a couple of quiet beers to ring in the new year I went out for a 30 minute run. Now don't get it twisted this was not a blistering run by any stretch. I broke it down into an interval pyramid 1min run, 1 min walk, 2 min run, 1 min walk, 3 min run, 1 min walk, 4 min run, 1 min walk, 5 min run, 1 min walk, and then worked back down to 1min run, 1 min walk again. A small step in the right direction, but the first step of the process is done. Now to plan the next run (Saturday 4th of Jan) which also brings me to my next point.
To yourself and to others. But mostly to yourself.
“It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
The first part of this is to write your goals down, somewhere visible (even if only visible to you), as well as your action plan. the little steps you need to take each day, week, month, year. Check it regularly. Keeping your goals at the from of your mind will help remind you of the things you need to get done to get you closer.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team”
Find yourself a group of likeminded people who share similar goals/ambitions to you. They will help to keep you on track. In helping others with their goals you will also be helping yourself, as well as continuing to receive support in return. Finding this support can be simpler than you can imagine, from your spouse, best friend, colleagues and people you interact with regularly to the marvels of the inter webs and social media.
You may recall I mentioned earlier my next run is planned for Saturday 4th of Jan, nothing overly intense probably just some 100m repeats every minute, HMU if you are keen to join or email me to check in with how I went. (See it can be that simple!)
Above all else.
“The mind is primary”
There are going to be plenty of ups and downs along the process.
You will miss days every now and then. START AGAIN THE DAY AFTER.
Life will throw you curve balls. KEEP GOING. CHANGE COURSE IF YOU NEED. BUT KEEP GOING.
People will try to tell you that you can’t. DON’T LISTEN. (There will be genuine good natured advice on being cautious, take that onboard and use it to plan to mitigate your downside).
As mentioned before break the goal down into bite size chunks, that you can manage on a weekly, monthly basis. Micro speed, Macro patience.
Want run a marathon? - Get to 5km first. Then 10km, then 21km
Want to bench press 100kg? - Get to 40kg first. Then 60kg, then 80kg
Want to speak Spanish? - Learn some common words, then put them into phrases.
The path to success rarely happens overnight, remember even the ‘overnight success’ often spent years honing and developing skills, knowledge or personality traits that have got them to that point. Don't fret if things don't always go your way, remember that even if you feel like at day 20 you have gone backwards from day 15, that’s fine as long as you are ahead of day 1.
Resilience is one of the most important traits you can develop, but you won’t build it by giving up when things get tough, dig your heels in and stay the M***** F****** course.
Im not going to wish you luck, because that is just preparation meeting opportunity. Do the work, be prepared and you will find your opportunity.
PS. One of my goals is to commit to writing more. More content, emails & journals so be sure to check your inbox regularly to hear more from me, also if you don't hear from me for a while, be sure to give me a little nudge and politely, or not so politely request to hear from me more often (again with the accountability) ;)