New Year’s resolutions: How can you actually achieve them?
As our stomachs finally take a rest from the overwhelming amount of food, festivities, and life-evaluations, we near the inevitable resolutions of 2019. Haven’t we all been there?
You wake up (or simply pull an all-nighter) on the first day of January, with an overwhelming list of awaiting achievements. Or, on the other side of the spectrum, with no motive or encouragement because everything seems too complex.
Where do you start? What does it even mean to revamp your lifestyle, career or health?
Don’t talk about it, just do it.
A prominently common reason behind people not making the first steps towards their goals is a little phenomenon called “prospective fulfilment”. A lot of times we might have an idea, a project in mind, or something we want to achieve. For instance: “I want to learn German”, “I want to write a book”, “I’m going to start working out” etc., you get the idea.
Well, what happens is that most times, we tend to share these plans with other people, and likely get a positive response to it, “a pet in the back” if you will, simply for the eagerness to do something. This makes the chemicals in our brain go a bit mad, releasing dopamine and getting satisfaction out of simply talking about an idea, without actually putting in the work.
Obviously, this occurrence doesn’t apply to everyone. Some people feed off feedback and it drives them to further push forward. But if you have witnessed a pattern in not hitting past targets by over-enthusiastically talking about it, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate some approaches.
Explain it to the duck.
Whereas perhaps sharing it with another human being may be questionable, we are definitely certain that explanatory inner dialogues can have a positive impact on solving a problem.
The most popular method of finding a solution when your code isn’t running properly, in typical programmer lifestyle, is the rubber duck debugging.
You read that right. You literally describe the code, line by line, to an inanimate object, preferably a rubber duck.
Programmers have had the experience of explaining a problem to someone else and then hitting upon the solution in the process of describing what the code is supposed to do.
Similarly, you can use this approach in scenarios of uncertainty when it comes to being stuck in a process. What line of code is stopping you from moving forward with your diet? Studies? Personal growth?
Self-awareness is more important than people presume in putting your life in order.
Small, consistent improvements can actually mark the difference.
Don’t start big, switching from junk food all day every day, to a clean diet. That is a recipe for inevitable failure, resulting in lost motivation, and inability to continue when things get too intense or you don’t see any results immediately.
Begin implementing small changes into your daily routine, consistency isn’t as easy as it seems.
Read for one hour on news or information you might be interested in. Practice a skill you haven’t in a while like learning a new language, coding (we’re biased in this one), create, imagine.
By doing simple, yet achievable tasks, and being honest with how much you can realistically accomplish, you set yourself up for a journey towards improvement.
It can be on January, a Monday morning, or the middle of the year. You can just wake up one day and decide that today is the day you make that specific change in your life, that a limit has been reached. Even though evolving takes real effort, everything revolves around the mindset.