by cognizance

It’s that time again. We’re at the beginning of a new year and we take a few moments to reflect on the year past and make plans for the one ahead. Characteristically we see posts on our social networks about what a great year this person has had, or we see “2014 was a bad year for me, can’t wait until 2015”. It’s undeniable that the start of a fresh year is psychological and most see it as an opportunity to make improvements in their lives… New Year, New Me!It’s only natural for people to look within themselves first for transformation. But herein lies the problem. To become a new you is going to take drastic change and it’s all too easy to let that resolution go, before it becomes a part of your everyday life.
I’m going to make a suggestion here. How about becoming a better, more improved you? After all you’re not that bad ;).

Let’s for instance say that you want to become 100% more than what you are right now. This can lend itself to any part of your life. 100% fitter, 100% smarter, 100% more tech savvy, 100% better dressed, 100% better with finances… We’ll generalize here and just say a 100% better you.

Now there are many ways, tricks or ideas to see these resolutions through, but the most important thing to do is set a goal. Make it real. Write it down. The moment you’ve done that you’re telling the world (discreetly) that you are going to do this. Then it becomes real.

Next, create reasonable, manageable steps to achieving that goal. The idea behind this is to not lose hope when for example you’re unable to run 5 miles after one week when you’re goal is to complete a marathon. Be fair to yourself. Let’s talk statistics. After the first week of January, 25% of resolutions have been put back until next year ;). After week 2 over half of these resolutions have been given up on. Just 48% of New Year resolutions are still in play. So let’s create our fist milestone. Continue steps that lead me to my goal through week 2 of January.

That doesn’t sound too hard does it?

So you continue completing your short steps (to your goals) everyday and by the end of week 2 do you feel like a more improved you? You probably will. But you’re not quite ready to run that marathon just yet. Let’s say for instance that every day you complete a step you’re 1% better than you were before you did it. It’s not a massive change; it seems fair to say that you would be this much better. After 2 weeks of completing your steps you’re 14% better than you are right now, at the beginning of the year.

You’ll continue doing these small incremental steps through January, February and into March. They may feel like a chore. You don’t feel like doing them everyday but you do. After 2 months you’re 60% better than you were at the beginning of the year. Studies show that a peculiar thing happens then. After 2 months of completing your steps, they’ve formed a habit. This means that the tasks you perform make up a part of your everyday life. You’ll probably find at this point that not doing them feels unnatural. Make this your second milestone. Complete my steps through March. After 2 months (66 days) I will have created a habit.

Through this time you would have re-adjusted your steps. Running a mile will be running 5 miles. Reading 10 pages of a good book each day will become reading 20 or 30. Spending half hour at a computer learning will turn to spending an hour or more. It’s good to re-adjust and push harder. Through adversity we come out stronger. So when you feel like you’ve had a hard year, just take a moment and think about it. You can’t change that it was hard. Some of it may have been out of your control. You may wish you’d done something differently. You’ve learnt lessons, you’ve survived, and you’re stronger than you were.

Now take this wisdom, make your resolution, and create your goal, your milestone and your steps. Make it a habit, become better and have a Great 2015!

– Team Cog

by cognizance
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