How to Set a Revolution Instead of a Resolution
Every year you make a list of goals you want to achieve. These "resolutions" get you pumped up right until the ball drops in Times Square signifying the start of the next twelve months. The very next day, hung over from too much gin and not enough self control you look at this list of goals you set for yourself and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is "I'll start tomorrow." But when tomorrow comes do you dive into these resolutions? Maybe you do, maybe you don't but one thing is certain:
Most resolutions fail by summertime.
Why is that? Do we lack the faith in ourselves to follow through on our most important goals or are we just plain lazy. Perhaps a bit of both.
Trusting ourselves enough to emerge from our comfort zones takes effort. As much as a lot of the self-help gurus want you to believe you can't just write your your dreams and desires on a piece of paper and have them appear like magic.
You have to do the work.
So many of us are so comfortable in our complacency that when it comes to actually making an effort to shift out of that space and into something greater we balk. Fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of others opinions hold us back from realizing something we've wanted for a long time. How long? Take a look at your resolutions right now. C'mon, I know you've written them down already. Now, I'm willing to bet that more than half of the things you wrote down are resolutions you didn't achieve from the year before...and maybe from as early as the start of the decade!
Y'know those comparison photos everyone is doing? The ones where they compare the beginning of the decade to the end of the decade? What if we went beyond the surface?
Look inside yourself and answer these questions:
In the past 10 years which goals have you put a check mark next to?
How does knowing that you accomplished something you wanted make you feel?
What did you need to do in order to achieve that goal?
The minute you honestly answer these questions for yourself you have a dedicated blueprint for achieving anything you want in the future...resolution or not!
We tend to live our lives at break neck speed often forgetting the important things we've tackled. How many times do you think "time flies." It doesn't really, not while you're in it. But we don't take enough time to reflect on the important moments of our lives so they fade into the background.
I implore you to look back through the memories of your last decade and harness them for your own good. So when faced with a new year you can walk confidently in the direction of your dreams knowing that you have the strength and perspicacity to attain what you want if you really put your mind to it. That means pushing past the fears and opinions that are holding you back.
I'll give you an example. When you were a teenager you really wanted to get your driver's license didn't you? To have the freedom to come and go as you please without waiting for your parents to pick you up was the dream back then. And though it felt difficult in the moment you studied the booklet, did the practical application of hitting rubber to the road, and you got your license (some took a few tries but I digress...) Now you drive around without a second thought of how you mastered that skill.
It stands to reason that focus, clarity, and a strong enough want can get you behind the wheel of your next goal.
Resolution is such a tired word. It's lost all meaning because there's too much levity behind them. This year, and the years to follow, make a revolution list instead. This is your own personal assault on the things you've been holding back on. Don't just wait for the end of the year to tackle your hearts desires. Remember, "time flies" so it's time to capitalize on the time you have in front of you and no longer procrastinate on what you want to do with your life. So by the end of the next year you'll look back and be able to say "I did that."
Need some help getting started?
1. Get a journal - writing down your thoughts is a great way to sort them out. It will allow you to see what keeps tripping you up and then you can adjust.
2. Break your goals into chunks - an entire list of resolutions is daunting. Instead, grab your top goal and break it down into small steps you can take everyday. Pretty soon you'll be on your way to its achievement.
Example: everyone writes down that they want to lose a certain amount of weight. You would write that goal at the top of the page and beneath it scroll out the steps you will take to reach it.
Monday - walk around the block
Tuesday - buy healthy food
Wednesday - hire a trainer
One step after another leads you towards true success. It might even help to take your goal and work backwards from the success of it and marking the steps in reverse order. This will help you visualize yourself in that place of achievement.
3. Celebrate small victories - We always think of the larger-than-life moments because social media has programmed us to live like this. If it's not worthy of an Instagram photo then it's not special enough. Bullshit! When you make headway on a goal you should celebrate it. If you lose 5 lbs on your journey towards losing 50 give yourself some applause. I don't mean do something to sabotage your success like eating an entire pizza, but you could reward your efforts with a massage.
Say you wrote a full chapter in a novel you wanted to start this coming year. That's an accomplishment in and of itself! Buy yourself a small gift in celebration of sticking to your goal and making it over the first hurdle. Just don't let it go to your head! The point is to motivate yourself to want to stick with it to the end.
Soon you'll find yourself at the finish line of that goal and you'll be ready to tackle the next one. It's your life, write your own story.