Don’t Be Insane: 2023 Will Be The Same Unless you Stop Making New Year Resolutions
Try These 8 Tips to Experience a Different and Better Year
“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it.” — Hab 2:2
We heard it to the point it has become a cliché. The slight in the does not diminish the fact in this statement.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Yet, we continue making ineffective New Year resolutions expecting they will work “this time.”
I stopped making resolutions on 31 December, about nine years ago. It was no consolation when I found Marla Tabaka quoting in an Inc. Life newsletter that:
“According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.”
This stat means 20% of us deserve some kudos for finding the Midas touch of this annual ritual. For the rest of us, it has been a yearly practice of planning and praying. Others may have given up the idea, whilst some of us have tried different systems, techniques and tools.
I am in the latter group. Over the last five years, I have failed and succeeded in others. And the most effective tool I have found is the life plan workbook by Mind Tools. This tool provides a holistic approach to planning with a much longer-term view.
But the life book in its various versions is only a tool. Through multiple iterations and observation of different habits, I found the following eight tips to be the most critical in determining how my years turned out.
1) Developing a growth mindset
We are bound to get better with consistent practice. IQ and talent will get you started. Consistent practice will ensure you improve. Believe there is room for improvement with practice.
2) Practising saying “No”
Warren Buffet attributes his success to this — “Simple. I just say NO to everything that is not absolutely vital to me at the moment.” Don’t try to do everything and avoid saying yes to everything for fear of sounding selfish. Know what is important.
3) Reviewing, revising and resetting priorities
Your priorities are not cast in stone or signed in blood. Regularly review your goals, targets and priorities to ensure they are still valid and relevant. In these times of rapid change, our agility and ability to adapt will be crucial to our success.
4) Knowing that ignorance is not bliss
Also, to be agile and adaptable, we must be able to identify trends and patterns to help us predict what will be relevant in the future. Not knowing might lead to avoidable dangers. Read, learn and adapt.
5) Doing the work
A plan on paper is only a dream. Results require deliberate and decisive action. And we must cultivate talent and skill to unlock our potential.
6) Accepting failure as part of the process
The fear of failure can cripple us and prevent us from venturing into unknown paths. “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” — Henry Ford
7) Being patient with oneself
Set realistic goals. Give yourself time. Avoid quick fixes and instant gratification because building anything worthwhile and sustainable requires time. Appreciate what you have instead of wishing for what you don’t have.
8) Practising gratitude
Appreciate the small wins along the way. Don’t wait until you finish the book; celebrate every chapter. Don’t wait until you get that promotion; be thankful for every year completed successfully.
I am not suggesting that these eight habits are the silver bullet. But, I promise you, these habits have helped me successfully combine my career as a finance leader, an author, an entrepreneur, a father and a husband.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Wayne Dyer
If you want a change in 2023, I recommend you try these habits. Not only for a few days in Jan and Feb, but all year round, and even to the next.
I will be glad to hear from you during the year, and I will be happy to help you with your practical and actionable life plan.
Two (2) Book recommendations
I believe our developing systems that will help us see things through will play a vital role in how 2023 and the rest of our life turns out. Pay attention to these two books.
a) Thinking in Systems by Donella H Meadows, Diana Wright
I found working in systems to be the best way of getting a lot done without overwhelming my mind.
Donella and Diana provide insights into the elements of a system, what influences it and how we can improve it. The strongest and best systems will need a plan B.
b) How to Stop Procrastination by Steve S. J. Scott
I admit it. I am easily distracted. And before I learnt that progress was more important, I was a perfectionist. These are two traits of a procrastinator. If you are serious about getting things done at the right time, I suggest you read Steve S. J. Scott’s book.
You will discover the eight possible reasons why we procrastinate, gain insight into the six causes of demotivation, and learn how to break down a task into smaller manageable tasks.
Three (3) Citations
Here are three quotes to constantly remind us to stay the course in 2023.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” ― J. K. Rowling
“With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” ― Wayne Dyer
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” ― Jim Rohn