Sometime back, I wrote this blog about A Monthly Model for Accomplishments. The idea was to plan and track progress every month. Now that it is the end of January 2023, it is time to revisit the resolutions you made on 31st December or 1st Jan, a month ago. Research has shown that many people fall back or move away from the resolutions they outlined in the first couple of weeks of the year. That is mainly because the former habits take precedence, and we fail to establish new habits just because we have a new calendar.
If you are to keep to resolutions, you also need to look into a bit on what it takes for your to build a new habit. There are several books on the topic of Habits. One is on atomic habits. The overall idea is to take a small step at a time and keep working on it until you are happy with the results.
- What is that change you want to make?
- Where would you want to start?
- What is the smallest step possible?
- How would you ensure that you will attach to the small commitment and keep doing it?
- How can you iterate this model?
Keep it Simple
My experience is that if you want to make progress and stick to a resolution or a new habit you want to form, you need to make sure it is simple enough to remember, follow and evaluate.
One of the key mistakes when we take on a new journey, is that we plan big and later lose focus on keep working on it.
A simple example of this is what I set as a goal at the beginning of this year. Write a blog a week. It is easy to remember to check the progress ==> is it the weekend, and have I written that blog? That is weekly tracking of progress. Then review monthly. Do I have 4 or more blogs written this month?
I used to have a good tempo with my writing habit. However, in the past three years, I did not write as much. This is a good example of me losing a good habit. Now I am trying to reignite that more systematically with far better frequency.
Just keep doing something for the sake of meeting a number is not that useful. We need to make sure we always make progress. For example, I can write a blog weekly, but do I get to write better material week after week?
It is one thing to keep executing, and it is another to keep executing better.
For better execution, I need to keep focusing not only on execution but also on growth.
For example, on writing a weekly blog, do I read enough weekly to generate new ideas and topics to write about? How much do I spend time reading about writing? Is my content getting better and better?
To form a good habit that benefits both you and the world around you, you need to focus on doing your research, learn the relevant domains, and make sure you have a growth plan too.
Weekly and Daily
When you are busy, finding time weekly for a good habit-forming exercise is a good start.
Having some weekly objective measures is also a good technique.
If you want to improve, you can also allocate some time daily. For example, 30 minutes of walking or 20 minutes for a gratitude journal.
In general, it is easy to keep to resolutions and form habits around things that you enjoy the most. Focus on projects that make you happy and healthy. This makes your journey easier. The other tip is to focus on your purpose and plan accordingly. This way, your eyes with glitter, and your heart will be lighter when you work on the plans around your habits and resolutions. Archiving goals should not feel hard all the time. Many times they can feel entertaining and enjoyable. And your purpose would be your driver.
Source: Atomic Habits Summary