Hi folks –
At the start of every year, millions of us take the time to come up with New Year’s resolutions and think of ways to maximize the year ahead of us.
Now, it is very likely that these resolutions fall by the wayside early within the new year – in fact, it is estimated that around 80% of set resolutions fail. The simple reality is that it can be very difficult to make definite changes or accomplish specific goals in your life just by basing them on an arbitrary date.
So this year, how about just resolving to make it a GREAT year in general? I thought I would take today to share a few ways that you can make 2020 a great year – by taking a different approach.
Trying for Too Much, Too Quickly
When most people think about what they would like to achieve at the beginning of each year, they tend to set large, sweeping goals in many different categories. Filled with the motivation and cheer leftover by the holiday spirit, they might say things like, “I’d like to get healthier, make more money, spend more time with my family and learn a new language.” And while these are great intentions to set, it may not be the best strategy to target so many different aspects of our lives at once and expect to make significant improvements by the end of a 365-day period.
By taking on too many goals and expecting too many results at the end of the year – you spread your focus too thin. It would be much more productive to set smaller goals in specific categories, then move on according to need.
Recognize that January 1st is just a date and focus on the single most critical category of your life that you would like to see changes in. Try breaking your life down into groups: health, finances, relationships, spirituality, etc. Then, take a step back to gauge which area you would like to improve most, and commit to tackling that aspect first.
Get a Hobby, Get a Life
It doesn’t matter who you are, or what kind of improvements you would like to make in your life – one sure way to making this coming year great is to get involved in a hobby. Hobbies are activities that you pursue simply out of curiosity and enjoyment, not because you want to “accomplish” something.
In many ways, finding a hobby can introduce a new, exciting and fulfilling aspect to your life. This is especially helpful to someone who may be living well and doesn’t feel a strong need to jump on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon. Even if you do stillwant to get a sense of making improvements to your life – you can use your hobbies as a tool for doing so.
For instance, you may wish to take up hiking, which is both a great way to explore and appreciate the natural world around you, while also giving you health benefits of exercise. Of course, there are other healthy hobbies to pursue, such as: picking up a sport, diving into culinary arts, or even taking dance lessons.
The great thing about hobbies is that they allow you to focus your attention and energy onto an activity that is both fun and productive. They’re a sure-fire way to enhance your life and make the year one to remember.
Developing a strong sense of gratitude may be one of the most effective and easiest ways to make this a phenomenal year. Gratitude is a powerful way to instill a strong sense of appreciation for all aspects of our lives. It realigns our perspective to focus on the good things that we already have and enjoy.
Of course, striving for improvement is a natural instinct and reaching higher levels of success should be celebrated – but gratitude reminds us that we already have so many things to be thankful for and to celebrate.
By cultivating gratitude, you will find yourself happier, more optimistic, more inspired to tackle new challenges and with a stronger appreciation for friends and family. The simplest way to do this is by starting a gratitude journal and begin every morning by jotting down a few things that you are thankful for. Over time, you will begin to notice just how much you already have going for you, and it doesn’t cost anything other than a few moments every day.
Wishing you the best,
~ Scott Asner Kansas City, Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG)