I know it’s a little late into January but I thought I would take the time to share my thoughts around New Year’s Resolutions (and specifically goals).
It’s funny how New Year’s Resolutions come about. On Jan. 1 of every year, I, much like others, get a ‘chance’ to start anew. This year is going to be my best year yet. This year I’m going to lose weight and keep it off. Only 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions!
I once asked one of my good friends what her New Year’s resolutions were. She bluntly told me that she doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions because she didn’t need a tradition / specific time period to set goals. She subsequently told me that she is regularly and continually meeting and setting goals throughout the year.
This, I think, is a much better approach to achieving your resolutions for the New Year. One of the reasons why only 8% of people achieve their resolutions is because they set unrealistic resolutions. For example, one new year’s resolution is to work out three times a week but then life gets too busy and they just fall off the treadmill (sometimes literally).
I find that resolutions are quite binary (and you either succeed or fail) and that you set them at the beginning of the year without adjusting for changes later. It’s also important to note that even though you may have failed a resolution (or a goal), that does not mean you have not made any progress.
On that note, I have recently been listening to the book “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher. In the book, it discusses the idea that nothing is secure anymore (relationships, jobs, friends) and that the best way of ensuring success for yourself in the future is to choose yourself. For example, one of the best ways to improve the world around you is to improve yourself.
He also shares his daily habits for helping you improve yourself. These tips are quite simple (and I can’t remember all the tips) but they sound extremely powerful. Here are a few that I remember:
- Sleep for 8 hours every day
- Eat 2 meals a day (a late breakfast and then a late lunch)
- Try to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day
- Do not participate in gossip
- Tell someone you love them
- Do not complain for a day
- Come up with 10 ideas every day
That last action intrigued me. James talks about the concept of becoming an idea machine and his wife Claudia has written a book called “Become an Idea Machine: Because Ideas are the Currency of the 21st Century” which helps provide themes / sparks for your idea lists for 180 days. This, to me, is one of the key takeaways out of James’ book and something that I will try out for this year. Once you become an “idea machine”, things start to happen and although I can’t predict or know what will happen, I can certainly believe that being rich in ideas will help you in all aspects of your life.
Therefore, my goal is to come up with 10 ideas a day every single day for 2015. Coming up with 10 ideas a day for a year means 3650 ideas and if even 0.1% of those ideas are killer ideas, this means that I would have 3 ideas to work on. Think about doing this over years and years of time or even coming up with more than 10 ideas a day – what would that do to your life?
Is this difficult? Probably.
What if others steal your ideas? You have 10 more the next day.
What are you going to do with those ideas? You’re missing the point, it is about growing the muscle that cultivates ideas as opposed to the ideas themselves.
Isn’t this kind of ridiculous? You’ve met me right?