I have been diverted from my ‘Betwixtmas’ sloth by the inevitable pull of planning my newer and better self in 2022. Of course, most of us are thinking how we will change and become perfect persons next year.
It’s hard not to fall into the trap. We leave our routine to dive headlong into the holiday vortex, giving up our habits, eating and drinking too much, feeling utterly terrible through lack of quality sleep and exercise. We then decide to knee-jerk react and get back on course, bigger (metaphorically, as some of us need to shed a few pounds after the festive indulgence) and better than ever before. Next year will be different.
Radical changes are promised, including some we have pledged before and failed. The list of roadblocks to this kind of change is long, but here are a few of the key ones.
Firstly, though, this is a wonderful time. The break in routine for most provides some time to reflect and consider what we want. We are full of hope and optimism for the new year.
But we tend to think about what we want to do, rather than truly who we want to be. The result is we set a big goal and don’t really think about the building blocks of how we do it. The goal orientation is inconsistent with who we really are and how we live our lives day to day, so the change tends to be at odds with what we REALLY enjoy doing.
Such goals tend to be grandiose in nature - perhaps rightfully so but they often lack proper process to back them up. They should be broken down into steps so that milestones can be achieved in short time, and progress attained. We thrive on that kind of reward. Small changes add up to big results over time. I will be writing more about this soon(!).
And if the goals aren’t too big, then they lack specificity. When I hear myself (or others) say “I must do more of…”, alarm bells ring. We need to define how many times, when, and how we will do something, if it as an action we wish to undertake. Otherwise, it’s woolly and vague and won’t happen, I’m afraid.
Enjoy New Year’s Eve and make some promises to yourself as you down the bubbly. It’s part of the cathartic process. But resolve to sit down and plan just what you want to do and why. Follow these simple rules to make effective change:-