We’re almost done with first week in January: the week where more New Year’s resolutions are broken than any other.
According a study conducted in 2002, 25% of New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week alone. Within 6 months, over half of us will have given up.
Why? Why is it that so many resolutions are doomed from the start?
Here’s one major reason I’ve found with clients: you need to learn how to balance these new resolutions with your prior commitments.
You’re Already Busy
A major cause of people failing to accomplish their resolutions is taking on new commitments, when they’re already busy.
After all, if you are already pressed for time for what’s currently happening in your life, how can you do everything you’ve always done, and squeeze in time for new things?
So the answer isn’t just starting new resolutions – you also need to take this opportunity to sharpen your focus, and give up on a few things.
The answer is, commit to giving up, or doing less of some things: so you can do the important things better.
The simplest way I’ve found of letting go is a wonderful concept introduced in Getting Things Done (GTD), the @Someday list.
The Someday List
Very briefly, the @Someday list is my list of items that I intend to get to “Someday.”
Every week or two, I review the items on that list, and if I decide I am ready to begin a project that week, I move it from @Someday into my normal day-to-day GTD system.
I can hear the question now – if it’s on your @Someday list and it never gets done, what’s the point?
The point is, if you don’t explicitly decide what is on your @Someday list, you implicitly put everything you aren’t actively working on on it.
Do you have a dream of running a marathon? Starting your own business? Writing a book?
If you don’t actively take action on it right now it’s going to be pushed off into the future.
Each week it’ll be something different, but you can be sure something will come up – because why should our later weeks be any less busy? What gives us the confidence to say that we’ll have less incoming in the future than we have today?
If we don’t actively stifle the other commitments coming into our lives, they will end up filling all our time.
We’ll continue to put things off, telling ourselves the timing just isn’t right, and we’ll get started on it right after we reach the next arbitrary milestone – this summer, when I’m out of school, the next promotion, after the car is paid off…
“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”
– Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
My New Year’s Dissolutions
The moment will never be right.
But, you and me can both clear time in our lives to make this moment more ready for ourselves.
Today I announce to you my New Year’s dissolutions.: Tasks that need to fall by the wayside, (or into the Someday bucket), to make room for what I truly desire and enjoy, and want to accomplish immediately.
- Discard Excess Non-Fiction Books. I have some half finished books that I feel I “should” read. No need to anymore. I’m letting those commitments go. In fact, I’ve donated many of them to charity – they’re gone forever! Instead, I’m going to read the books I’ve really wanted to read – but haven’t “found the time” to read.
- Less Spectating, More Hiking. I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc – but this year I am going to completely unplug on weekends from social media. I’ll post, but I won’t read anything. I’m going to put that time towards hiking, running, playing guitar - and writing more articles for you!
How about you – want to make a New Year’s Dissolution? Or make more than one – share as many with me as you like.
Tell Me Your Dissolutions
Make This Year Your Best Year
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