Tips for owning it this year

Sometimes in life it is necessary to do things that go against the grain. Things that some might regard as downright peculiar. Like starting your year on the 1st of Feb.

Before you dismiss the idea, allow us to present the logic. December is a blur of feasting and frolicking. January suddenly arrives out of nowhere and propels you into panic mode. You quickly make decisions about everything you think you need* to change and start juggling. If you have ever had the misfortune of experiencing a speed wobble whilst riding your bicycle as a child or the magnetic gravitational-like pull of running down a sand dune and not being able to stop, you’ll relate to the kind of start to the year we’re describing.

February is much calmer, cooler, and more collected. The perfect time to pull out the blank canvas and ease into your ‘strategy’ for 2018. Whether its personal or career goals you are setting, here are a few things to consider that may assist you with getting the ball rolling and, more importantly, keeping it rolling this year.

Forget about the resolutions

Resolutions don’t work.

But hang on a sec, isn’t this supposed to be an article surrounding this very topic? Yes, it is.

And yes, there may be a small minority that successfully stick to the resolutions they make at the beginning of the year. But, if you dig deeper into the reason why these almost annoyingly efficient folk are able to stick to their guns you’ll find that the key to their success is simply that they look at resolutions differently.

We perceive resolutions as something we should or have to do rather than something we actually want to do. The moment you shift this perception is the moment your motivation and your relationship with that particular action will straighten out. You’ll leave the ‘gosh, now I have to do this or that,’ type of resentment behind and adopt an ‘I’m looking forward to changing this habit’ type of accountability.

If you want to do it, it’ll be done. If you feel like you have to do, you’re more likely to fail.

Take a look at your Future You

Let’s skip forward to the 31st of December and take a look at you at the end of this year. What does that person look like? Has he/she simply achieved all the goals you set out for yourself this year or is he/she a better version of you, in your eyes. Think of who you want to be looking back at you now.

Get SMART about your goals

The SMART goal-setting system is a great tool for helping you clarify your goals. It makes use of the following criteria as guidelines in fleshing out your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. This image via pinterest explains the system succinctly.

Shake off the cobwebs

Whether it’s refreshing your CV, clearing out your cupboard, or opting for a new do – shake off the old and dusty. Although it might seem like a small rearrangement, it can have a big impact in your motivation and serve as a healthy nudge for your momentum. Coco Chanel once said, ‘A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.’ Gents, you are not excluded from this…

Give yourself a good reason

What’s at stake? What have you got to lose? What have you got to gain? Are you doing it to impress someone or for acknowledgement? What are the implications and the impact? Will it result in the betterment of yours or someone else’s life? Is it just for fun? Make sure your reason has some meat on it so that you can really bite into it when things get a little tough.

Check what’s in your backpack

If you’ve ever started a fitness program carrying a few extra kilos you’ll relate to the backpack analogy. What are those extra things you’re carrying around on your back that have the potential to make your progress sluggish? An unresolved issue with a colleague that you both swept under the rug, debt from a student loan, a disappointment that you’re battling to shake. When you look into your backpack you can start unpacking it bit by bit and lightening that load. Every little piece chipped away lightens the load, even if it is Lego-sized to begin with.

(Re)start now

As humans, one thing that we’re famous, or more aptly infamous, for is procrastination. If you’ve set yourself goals and you fall behind don’t throw in the towel and wait until Monday to pick it up again. Start again…now, or at the very next opportunity. Don’t leave it for later.

Your goals are what you make of them. You have the recipe, and most importantly you have the potential, now it’s up to you to make them a reality. You can do it.