Every New Year it’s the same old thing. Set a goal. Make a resolution. Work like maniac to achieve resolution. Get tired. Lose interest. Purposely find excuses to stop working on resolution. Kick resolution to curb. Feel like a failure when you realize you were only baby steps away from realizing your goal. For some of us, this is the process of focusing on our resolutions, but having nothing to show for it. Wouldn’t you love to never feel like a failure again?
For 50 percent of Americans this is the normal ritual that ensues each and every year. Making a resolution to either get financially stable, lose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, spend more time with family has become a game people play each year in hopes that it would spark something within them to change their lives. Each one of these categories requires change and let’s face it, most people fear change.
I recently read an article on Entrepreneur that touched on feelings about goal (resolution) setting. The article focused more on the process and the plan in reaching a goal instead of focusing on the goal. All too often I would find myself focusing on the goal and when I didn’t reach it in the allotted time I gave myself, I would feel like a failure because the goal wasn’t reached. This article gave some credibility to my way of thinking.
Yes, I still need to set goals but I also need to forget about the goals and focus on the system, the plan, the process, or the routine of my life. Our daily routine or process has a lot to say about ourselves. For instance, if you are trying to become financially free but keep running out to buy your daily coffee, those new shoes you fell in love with, or take out dinner you’ll never be financially free. If you’re trying to lose weight but don’t follow a daily eating plan or exercise plan, you’ll never lose weight. This is true of everything in life that needs changing.
Instead of rushing to meet the deadlines you’ve placed on yourself, take a breath. Relax. Games aren’t won on the field, their won in practice. A pianist doesn’t perform the piece of a lifetime, just be sitting down to a piano and playing. It takes practice, rehearsals, planning. A professional musician practices their instrument many hours a day. A dancer practices different routines many hours a day.
The routine of life tells us who we are.
If you want changes in your life in 2014, you have to be willing to change your routine. These changes don’t have to major ones they could be as simple as replacing one complaint with one happy thought everyday.
Here are 10 simple changes you can make in 2014
- Smile at least 2 minutes out of every hour.
- Write 300 words a day, if you’re a writer. If you’re an artist practice the process of making art.
- For every hour you sit, exercise 10 minutes. If you sit eight hours a day at work, and your commute adds on another 2 hours then you’ll need to exercise for an hour and 40 minutes. But if you get breaks at work, you could cut down on your exercise time but walking on your breaks.
- Talk to 3 new people everyday.
- Replace one unhealthy meal (aka fast food, junk food) for one healthy meal every day.
- Post one inspirational photo to your Facebook page every day.
- Replace one complaint, or one bit of gossip, or one negative thought with one positive thought, one sincere compliment, or words of praise every day.
- Tell a different person in your life how much you love them and appreciate them every day.
- Compare yourself to yourself. Stop the cycle of frustration, by comparing yourself today to who you were yesterday instead of the current celebrity or television icon.
- Choose to use less profanity. Profanity hurts the ears of the people you shout it to, it hurts the ears of the little ones around you, and it hurts you.
By focusing on our process or routine we kick the feelings of failure to the curb. Success abounds when we focus on the process.
By making small changes and focusing on the process, you’ll never feel like a failure again.