I’ve read a lot of tweets and posts these days about people’s resolutions or opinions regarding resolutions for the new year. I’ve never really had any. I never planned for the new year. But a few years ago I realised the first thing I’d like to mention in this post: starting shouldn’t require a new year, a new month or a new week.
If your plan is to start reading regularly, what’s stopping you from starting now, Friday at 7pm? The widely spread idea that the weekend is the time to go out? Why not both, if that’s what you wish? Even 2 pages and you're on your way.
If your plan is to start eating healthy, what’s stopping you from starting now, Dec 21st at 4pm? The tables full of food you’ll sit at during holidays? Who says you have to eat everything? Not everything on the table will be healthy and you might slip, but you can start by eating with moderation and/or focusing on the healthy stuff.
Why does it have to be a new something? This only postpones you starting to work on your goal, delaying its accomplishment, but it also greatly reduces the chances of even starting at all. The more we wait, the less chances we’ll start. The perfect moment is literally now, while the idea is fresh, the decision is definite and the motivation is high. As time passes, all of these fade away; adopt a start now mentality. [I’ll write more about this in a future post]
The second thing to be mentioned is having a plan for the upcoming year. This is the first year I’m doing it and it already brought me confidence I’ll handle it better than the last ones. When you plan your year, to the best of your abilities, it wipes some of the uncertainty away, it brings clarity, it paves a road to walk on; it boosts confidence by knowing where you’re heading, by knowing that you’re heading somewhere, somewhere you designed.
Sure, life happens sometimes, but there’s a tremendous difference between a boat going nowhere, lost to the mercy of the sea, and a boat with a clear destination and trajectory that stumbles upon an unexpected storm — the storm will pass and the boat can continue its journey.
Last thing is about resolutions, per se. This year I decided I want some. But they’re not material, they’re not short-lived, they’re not temporary or volatile. They’re long-term values and core values.
This year …
I want to keep reading every day. How many books? I don’t really care, nor plan for any amount, I just want to do it daily — this usually means ~15 mins in the morning, ~30 mins in the evening and audiobooks while I drive; not counting all the articles I read throughout the day.
I want to exercise every day. How much? Well, I plan to go to the gym x3/week, but I will lift weights and do pushups at home no matter what. How many? I don’t really care, nor plan for any amount, I just want to do it daily — this usually means 10 weight lifts & 10 pushups in the morning, then pushups every time I get up from the computer, as many as I feel like in that moment, but usually 5–10.
I want to lose 12 more kgs. This is the only one I have a target for, but that’s because I want to enter the normal BMI, which has a formula. But the actual resolution is not this, though; it’s to keep eating healthy: as few sugars (sweets, sodas, etc) and processed carbs (pasta, bread, etc) as possible (usually none for quite long periods), no junk food, less meat, no fast-food (or very rarely, we’re all human).
I want to keep developing myself: punctuality, professionalism, integrity, kindness, empathy, understanding, doing the best work that I can, doing more than what I’m expected of, keeping track of what I eat & spend. Greatly influenced by Jim Rohn’s advice on reflecting on your year/month/week and inspired by James’ integrity reports, I did the same and found many aspects I thought — or worse, was sure — I had figured out, but I ended up realising I was wrong. Nothing beats some cup of truth.
I want to help others develop. I want to share everything I learned and experienced, which is the reason for this section of the blog.
Sure, I have goals, I planned my year, but if the year goes all downhill and I manage to accomplish the above, I’ll still count it as a win. From my perspective, the resolutions to aim for are timeless; they’re the ones that make you say ”this was an amazing year” even if your goals go sideways. That’s why I didn’t set a year for these resolutions; these will be my resolutions every year from now on.
Not all years can go sideways, and at that point you won’t believe the progress you’ll make. Because if you invest in yourself, no matter how the year goes, you’ll start the next one wiser, stronger, more experienced and more prepared.