Moment of truth: how long did it take you to eat most (if not all) of Grandma’s Christmas cookies? Were you still riding that sugar high when you wrote your list of New Years resolutions?
Let’s talk about those. As we step into this new year, I’d like to offer a few suggestions on keeping your resolutions. And you don’t have to take just my word for it. I asked a few people to weigh in on the whole resolution thing:
Here’s eight pieces of hard-won advice from the three of us.
1. Be ballsy (and map it out)
“You have to be crazy enough to believe that you will succeed. Because then you will succeed.” And Ashley’s right. If you don’t actually believe your goals are going to happen then you’re probably 89% more likely to fail (I made that percentage up, but you get the point).
But you’re also way more likely to fail if you don’t plot out how you’re going to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. So be honest with yourself and map out some very practical steps towards your goals. And then get to work.
2. Know thyself
The “work” part of working towards your project goals becomes easier if you can hone in on when and how you work the best.
So get to know yourself.
Ashley advises that you pay attention to when and how you work your best (she suggests keeping a work journal). Maybe at 2pm you really can’t afford to do any more work. Or maybe it’s a ton easier for you to work really early in the morning. Pay attention and adapt your approach along the way if you have to.
3. Talk about it
When it’s time for the rubber to the road, Jordan says it’s a good idea to “tell as many people as you can.” Why? Because the more you talk about it the greater the risk of looking like an idiot if you don’t follow through. Nobody wants that.
And don’t forget what Jordan calls the “‘in-your-face’ factor”: when you succeed at that goal nobody thought you were going to follow through on, you get to run around with your fists in the air like Rocky.
4. Don’t go it alone
Finding a tribe is extremely beneficial, especially if you’re trying something brand-spanking-new. You’ve gotta have a cheerleader or two. Go find someone who’s doing the kind of work you want to and learn from them. Or join a class to gain some new skills. Leave being a lone wolf to Clint Eastwood.
5. Lighten up…
Hey, you’re human. There will be at least one day where you’re not pushing towards your goal with all you’ve got. And guess what? That’s ok. Start again tomorrow.
6….but don’t slack off
Because your goals aren’t going to magically happen. Jordan’s quick to say that reaching for any goal means making sacrifices. He puts it this way: “How badly do you want to change?” You’ll have some rearranging to do to get from where you are to where you want to be.
So how badly do you want to reach your goals?
Because in the moment where you have to choose between a Netflix binge or dragging your butt into your studio or the gym or your desk chair, you’ve gotta decide what matters the most to you.
Is your goal worth enough to you to make those in-the-moment sacrifices?
(In this part I hinted at what goes into forming new habits. Since I don’t have time to go into too much depth about that in this post, check out what this Lifehacker post has to say.)
7. Chin up, buttercup (failure is good for you)
“You have to fail a lot,” Ashley says, even “epically fail sometimes.” Because failing can show you the difference between the right way and the wrong way to do what you’re trying to do. And sometimes you just have to start over again.
And I promise you, that’s ok. See what you can learn about yourself, your process, and your craft from that failure. And then get back to work.
8. Never give up
Sticking to your resolutions won’t be easy, but you’ve got all of 2016 ahead of you. So get to work and make yourself proud this year!
Big thanks to Ashley and Jordan for weighing in on this one.