By Paul Yung
Happy New Year! With all the crazy that 2021 has brought us including lockdowns, floods and teaching the world more Greek alphabets than we care to remember, here’s to 2022 being a better, brighter year.
The beginning of the year is the time many of us begin to set goals or resolutions. Gyms in January are normally packed to the brim with an enthusiastic crowd resolving to reach their health goals. Somewhere in the third week of January, the crowds begin to thin out, and normally when Chinese New Year rolls around, the gyms are empty again. Studies have shown that only 35% of us keep our resolutions throughout the year, while 9% of us don’t even bother setting one in the first place.
I have had my fair share of successful and failed resolutions. From grand resolutions like reading a book a week, which I somehow managed to see through, to lofty resolutions getting a 6 pack, which is still shyly hiding behind my one pack. I decided to break down setting resolutions to a science. Let’s face it, sheer willingness and grit will only get us so far. There are other things we can do to set ourselves up for success.
We start by understanding the fundamental reason or problem that is motivating us to set the resolution in the first place. “I want to read a book a week” or
“I want to lose 10 kilos” or “I want to quit my job” comes from a fundamentally unsatisfied or unfulfilled mental state.
Does this come from the fear of missing out?
Do you feel unsatisfied with the way you look?
Do you think that what you’re doing is a waste of your talent?
Reflecting on the “Why” will give you a stronger drive to follow through with your resolutions and goals, especially when things get hard, the weather is not right, or the traffic is too heavy.
If you don’t know what or why you’re standing for something, you will fall at the slightest nudge.
Secondly is to set your environment up for success. If you want to read a book a week, carry the book everywhere you go. Instead of scrolling your smartphone when you’re in the toilet, bring your book along. If you want to lose weight, stop buying junk food when you go grocery shopping and buy new gym clothes, gadgets, and supplements to motivate you to workout. I started swimming a lot more since my wife bought me an apple watch that records my laps and tells me when I’ve completed my work out for the day.
When you take the first step, you create momentum, momentum creates change. Setting your environment up for success helps facilitate change by removing distractions that could push you to fall back into previous patterns of behavior.
Finally, figure out the one “must achieve” goal for this year and focus on it. With the new year exuberance, I tend to set out with goals in every facet of life. Family, work, health, financial, etc. The reality is, we can only achieve mastery by keeping our minds clear of clutter. Choose one, big goal you want to achieve, and focus as much of your energy as you can on it. If you can squeeze in a second one, great!
If not, it’s better to get far along with one goal, than be distracted and get nowhere with any goal. Choose one, focus on it and you will not be able to recognize yourself in 6 months.
I truly believe we can achieve anything we set our minds on. Here’s to 2022 being a year of possibilities, a year of change and a year of following through with our goals and resolutions. Happy New Year everyone!