End of the year is a time of summaries and plans for the next twelve months. In the breaks between planning Christmas dinner and New Year’s party you try to recap your goods and bads, your successes and missteps and think about changes you want to make.
Making resolutions is kind of the New Year’s tradition. But do you really believe that this time is going to be different? Do you think that a long list of goals is enough to change anything in your life? Well, it’s not. So are you going to act wiser in 2014?
Our favorite excuses
There are a number of reasons why people do not follow through their own resolves. Some of them are strongly connected with the personality, some are the matter of external factors, some are just excuses. Very often quite good ones but still excuses. Let’s have a look at the most common “obstacles”.
1. Too many ambitious goals
New Year is like a new beginning. You use it as a good starting point for huge makeovers. You set ambitious goals you want to achieve and this is excellent. However, very often these aspirations are simply too difficult to approach. Your list is filled with aims that require lots of hard work, patience and consequence. And be honest with yourself, there are too many distractions and everyday activities to stay focused on all of your priorities.
2. No support
It is easier to keep your promises when they are said out loud in front of another person. If anyone knows about your plans you feel more responsible for them. You don’t want to disappoint anybody or just fail on your family’s or friends’ eyes. But what is more important, the support you receive leads you to the accomplishment as people around you make you more motivated. Once you leave your aims just for yourself it’s easier to drop them.
3. Lack of time
The most common reason why you shed your resolutions is lack of time. You spend long hours in the office, bring your job home to finish your tasks and meet deadlines. The truth is you don’t use your time wisely and lose it on unproductive activities. You get distracted easily and that is why you need to work longer. And that is the reason why you abandon your goals.
Tips to achieve your goals
What can you do to succeed? As a matter of fact, it is not that difficult as it may seem. You can help yourself with just three simple undertakings.
1. Define distractions
Being aware of what makes you unproductive with your private or professional tasks is a first step to pursue your resolutions. Most of distractions are connected with online activities. You spend hours on social networking. You check Facebook and Twitter updates, watch videos on YouTube, share content. You don’t even realize how much time you spend on them during the day. You can check it with the online time tracking tool. TimeCamp, for instance, records all computer activities and divides them into productive and unproductive ones. It helps to define where your time is allocated and better plan your days so you can find a few hours to focus on your 2014 goals.
2. Read inspirational books
It may sound cliché but reading a good inspirational book can increase your motivation. They make you see things from a different point of view. They bring solutions to your problems, show steps you can take to succeed. One of them is David Alenn’s Getting Things Done. The Art of Stress-Free Productivity which shows how to manage your time effectively so you succeed in your resolves. Time Warrior: How to defeat procrastination, people-pleasing, self-doubt, over-commitment, broken promises and chaos by Steve Chandler will help you deal with time. You can also get Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek to design your lifestyle and get more private time. Usually, things we read are obvious. However, it’s hard to come up with them on your own so it’s worth to get some guidelines.
3. Be systematic
Taking small steps is better than leaving everything to the last minute. This way every time you accomplish any of your tasks you can see a progress which motivates you to continue. All you need to do is to be systematic. Create a plan, divide your goals into small tasks. If you are a type who forgets about things, set some reminders. Staying focused on tiny things is much easier than having in mind the big undertaking. This makes your resolutions more probable to be pursued at the end of 2o14.
Follow the tips to get things done. You’ll see that impossible is nothing. Everything is a matter of a good will, good plan and the right tools. Good luck!