If you’re like most people this is about the time of the year when you start to abandon your new year’s resolutions. New year’s resolutions have a long, long history. Records show that ancient Babylonians started this practice nearly 4,000 years ago and, no doubt, they had no better luck than we have had in living up to our resolutions. Here’s a fresh idea: Instead of resolutions how about a few simple ideas from a variety of experts to make 2022 better than last year? (Even just a little bit.)
1. Expand your thinking with new experiences. “Each month for 30 days in a row, commit to doing something new that you have thought about doing, but have not done, and notice how it affects your life,” suggests Jack Canfield co-founder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. “Some possibilities: do aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, listen to only positive music, don’t read the newspaper, stop watching television, eat only vegetarian or raw food, verbally appreciate at least 10 people a day, get eight hours of sleep, meditate for 20 minutes, visualize your goals as already complete, do 20 minutes of yoga, or read a self-help book every morning for 30 minutes.” Pick just one and “start this month and [do that one activity] for the next 30 days in a row and then assess how it has impacted your life.”
2. Slow down to speed up. It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to speed up things in your life is slow down. Robin Sharma, leadership expert and author of The Leader Who Had No Title points out that “[i]t’s easy to stay busy, moving as fast as you possibly can. But what’s the point of spending your days climbing a mountain, only to realize at the end of this new year, you’ve climbed the wrong one? “
“The best businesspeople are staggeringly focused on their vital few—those few priorities that will yield explosive results. And the way to build this type of …focus just might surprise you: Slow down. If only for 30 minutes each day, slow down to think, plan, visualize and recite your best moves in a journal. You’ll become aware of your biggest opportunities, your smartest activities and your greatest tactics for growth. With this insight and clarity, you can then take actions that will drive excellent results. Commit to making it your breakthrough year and slow down for a bit each day. Then you’ll be perfectly prepared to speed up. And win.” And this works not only for businesspeople, but for everyone in both their work life and personal life.
3. Write a not-to-do-list. “There is a difference between being busy and being productive,” observes Todd Duncan, sales expert and author of the best-selling High Trust Selling: Make More Money in Less Time with Less Stress.
“What are you wasting time on? Here’s a powerful exercise. In 15- to 30-minute increments, keep track of each of your activities during the workday. Do this for a week. Then annualize the total amount of time for each activity that doesn’t [improve your life]. How much more [money] would you make per year if you did not do those activities any longer? How much more free time would you have for family? For health? Put those things on your not-to-do-list.”
4. Clear Your Desk. Clear Your Mind. “This tip may sound silly, but it may be the best piece of advice you receive all year,” claims Ramsey Solutions, a motivational and self-help company. “Get rid of all paper on your desk. File or scan what you need and throw away the rest. When you de-clutter your workspace, you automatically clear your mind, allowing you to focus on what’s important. It’s like having a fresh start every day.”
5. Talk about it. To make goals and aspirations tangible it helps to talk about them. “Something pretty cool happens when you talk about stuff,” writes the Huffington Post. “It becomes real. When you talk about something, it feels more real to you and to other people.”
“We’re not taught to pursue our dreams. There’s not much of a support system for it. So, when you talk about it, you’re stepping outside what’s normal among your friends and family. And people remember that.”
Even if you can’t or don’t want to try all five of these suggestions, integrate just a couple of these ideas in your daily life this year and we think you will be more energized and motivated by time 2023 rolls around.