It’s 2020, a new year and a new decade. You spent the latter part of last year putting together a list of New Year resolutions – things to do, things to stop doing and things you aspire to do.
It all looks good. Come January the 1st and you’re all fired up and ready to go and you start in earnest: you go on a diet and go to the gym every day to lose weight; you stop drinking and smoking or start work on that dream project.
Every day of January you are still busy implementing your New Year’s Resolution (- and talking about it non-stop!), by the middle of February your enthusiasm begins to drop and you start slacking, skipping things to do.
By the end of March most people would have abandoned their New Year’s resolution altogether and gone back to their old habits: they don’t go to the gym anymore and forget their diet, others start drinking and smoking again and dream projects start to gather dust.
The answer is simply a lack of commitment.
It’s a ‘fad’ to have a New Year’s Resolution: everyone else has one so why not you? It becomes a talking point in the December of the preceding year and to not have one probably means you’re from another planet! So you come up with one.
And this is where the next problem comes in – a New Year’s Resolution is not a carefully thought out plan but rather a hastily crafted spur-of-the-moment thought – “I’m going to stop smoking next year”, “I’m going to lose weight next year” or “I’m going to start my own business next year”.
My first question would be to ask why wait till the New Year? START NOW!!
And if you intend to start now or next year, where’s your action plan? And this is where everybody’s New Year Resolution falls apart – there is no plan! There is the will (or intention) to do it but no concrete step-by-step plan to achieve it. Say you want to stop smoking are you going to cut down gradually till you stop completely or are you going to stop and use nicotine patches to wean yourself off it or are you going to go full cold turkey ?
If you are starting a new business what is your action plan for Month 1, Month 2, Month 3 and so on? Without an action plan for your New Year’s Resolution your enthusiasm will be limited. The enthusiasm for “I’m building a house next year” is different to that of “I’m laying the foundation for my new house in February next year”.
And then there comes “commitment”: you show a different kind of commitment to studying hard and passing your final exams than you do to keeping a New Year’s Resolution. Is passing your exams more important than keeping a New Year’s resolution? NO! Anything we aspire to do in life requires the same level of commitment – and this is what a lot of people need to work on; commitment, commitment, commitment. Even if you are in a relationship and you don’t show the right level of commitment it’ll fall apart.
The best way to be more committed to achieving anything in life is to burn your bridges – it’s the best recipe for success! It sounds drastic but it works! It changes your mindset and is a great motivator. If you burn your bridges and can’t retreat you’ll be forced to force yourself to succeed no matter what because you’ll have no other option, nothing to fall back on to so you have to make it work!
So if you start something, have a good action plan, the right enthusiasm and the right commitment and you’ll finish it. You won’t drop out and you won’t quit! So let this be the year you really commit to effecting change in your life.
An article By Tony Ogunlowo