We’ve come really far as a nation, and we may have outperformed the rest by leaps and bounds. But one thing that we can’t really focus on much is keeping promises. These may be promises to ourselves, our friends, our relatives, etc. and this mentality extends to when we set goals for ourselves. The challenge seems too daunting and we lose sight of who really are anymore. We want to get fitter and healthier but instead, we end up going back to where we came from. We want to work on our start-up, but we end up on Instagram. We have dreams and hopes but we tend towards failure. That’s why when we see someone who succeeds, we call it luck so that we can quiet our own mind.
Here’s how you can really make and keep your New Year’s resolution –
#1 Setting a realistic goal
Too many people set unrealistic goals to please themselves in the short term. This is called the hot-hand fallacy, according to economist Robert Vallone who studied how short-term goals can impact long-term achievements. People who aim to win-big in life based on past experiences or self-sustained goals tend to not achieve what they want and burn pretty quickly. So whether it’s losing weight or having better relationships with others, you need to set a realistic goal for yourself.
#2 Creating benchmarks
When creating a goal that you really want to achieve, there is a significant proportion dedicated to learning about who to follow. E.g. if we follow Steve Jobs to build our startup then we may see failures as Steve succeeded in another time period. We may want to set realistic benchmarks for us when comparing and look at existing models of success for how they went about it.
#3 Learn voraciously
Don’t give up until you find information about what you want to achieve. Don’t let time or lack of resources stop you from learning even more about whatever you want to accomplish. Look at examples, studies, peer-reviewed journals and talk to people about how to go about it. Once you find your benchmarks, you need to learn about how to achieve them successfully
#4 Make it a part of your personality
Talk about it to others, as there is no need of hiding your goals from friends and family. Once you start talking to others about your diet, your exercise, your startup or your meditation practices, you will find that sometimes they can share real insights about yourself that you didn’t even know. Conversations that they have in their own lives can impact yours, as they share insights related to your particularNewYear’s resolution. This is called the nodal-network effect and is a great sociological principle to study if you’re interested in self-enhancement
#5 When faced with stress think slow
There is a particular instrumental conditioning in the ventral striatum of our brand. This component processes cues from our inner and outer environment and sends a message to our pre-frontal cortex. This triggers the fight or flight syndrome, where we give up on our dreams as we don’t want to face further pain in our lives. As famous author Malcolm Gladwell would say – use the power of slow thinking when needed. We sometimes use our instincts against us and claim to know first-hand that we will fail. It is here that we need to think slow and really progress into our dreams through slow-thinking. Verbally listing pros and cons, thinking through tough problems, looking at existing case studies, etc. will help you to slow your rushed brain down and focus on the goals at hand. You will find yourself more energetic after you’ve sorted through your barriers yourself
#6 Form a Community
Finally, and probably the most importantly, you need to find like-minded people who are following the same goals you are – to achieve them better! When you start talking to and interacting with people that inspire you, you get a sense of pride, happiness and joy that few people will understand. That’s why there are so many startup networking events, or group Zumba classes, or even cooking events organized outdoors. People love being in a supportive community. If the people around you are negative and demotivating, it may be time to move on and focus on more positive community experiences to really stick to your New Years’ resolution