That moment when we draw conclusions on the past year and we start looking forward is approaching. The end of a year is a symbolic deadline when we promise ourselves to change what we do not want in our lives. We all know how this is going to end up: most of those promises will be forgotten by February.
That’s because the mechanism of “New Year’s resolutions” goes against the way in which we find the right motivation to reach difficult goals.
First of all, defining a specific date in which to start a difficult project is counterproductive, because it creates artificial motivation: “it’s 1st of January, so I need to change”. Actually, if we are really motivated to change, we will start as soon as we are ready – be it on 14th October or 2nd February.
By imposing “New Year’s resolutions”, then, we undermine our ability to find the right energy and motivation when the enthusiasm for the new year wanes and we get back to our old routine which does not support those goals. Actually, foten it gores against them.
Our motivation, which is already feeble because artificially made, needs to face the real problem: habits we had in the past year.
So, forget the New Year. Do you have very important projects that you kept in our drawer or that you overlooked?
Choose some of them, the most important ones, to create priorities.
Then answer to these questions:
1. Wat habits prevented you from reaching that goal?
2. What habits will you need to have to reach it?
3. What habits should you replace first?
4. What will keep motivation high?
The source of your motivation must be strong – we cannot entrust important goals to “bursts of motivations”, such as the enthusiasm for a new project – which lasts for two weeks.
So, enjoy the holidays, and start only when you are ready. Maybe on 19th of December, maybe later, it doesn’t really matter. If the motivation is right and habits are effective, you cannot fail.