New Year, New Beginnings… Now What?

Firstly, I would just like to express my best wishes for the new year to everyone reading this and I hope you had a chance to relax and catch-up with friends and loved ones during the holidays.

For many, 2020 proved to be a challenging and difficult year that tested the limits of our coping abilities through much uncertainty. We may have felt like there were many things outside of our control (and many were) and that the more pressure that was applied, the harder it was to actually deal with. Consequently, there were more than likely many waiting for the clock to strike 12am on Jan 1st, 2021 to provide some symbolic relief from the troubles of the previous year.

We may have also decided to make some resolutions for the new year, plans of action or simply just hope that the menu for 2021 is more appetizing than what was served up in 2020. So now that we are almost a week into 2021, how do we make these plans come to fruition?

Alright, So You Have Made Some Resolutions Or Some Plans...

The best thing we can do here, as mentioned in a previous blog post is start…. something. I found a great photo from the Blokes Psychology Facebook page below which sums this up perfectly and provides a bit of inspiration.

In the end, starting something towards your goals is the first step. If you said you wanted to improve your fitness, you do not have to start by punishing yourself at the gym for 2 hours. In this case, it may be best to first look at planning your diet and developing an exercise routine, then setting some monthly targets to work towards your goal.

Most importantly, try to set tasks and goals that are achievable as achieving these small goals will be a great motivator to strive further towards success. Metaphorically, we do not want to think of climbing Mt Everest in one go, that would be quite daunting and probably squash our motivation pretty quickly. Instead, we want to think about moving from basecamp to basecamp until we reach the summit.

If we are seriously committed to working towards and achieving our goals, the ‘climbing Everest’ metaphor is a perfect way to look at this. It will take some logistical planning to manage our resources and time but this is for our benefit. This will allow us to come up with a strategy that suits our lifestyle which in turn, increases our chance of success so spend some time writing this plan out. Setting incremental goals (i.e. monthly) also helps us assess the quality of the plan we have made, assess how we are going and what adjustments we may need to make for next month.

Alright, Done. Let’s Go!

Now without being a ‘downer’, we also must acknowledge other factors that may slow-down or stand in the way of us achieving our goals. This is one reason this sort of flexible planning can help us, by letting us adjust our target as needed. If there are any obstacles you can foresee (such as holiday periods where you feel you may fall out of routine etc.), try and factor them in. There will of course, be factors that you cannot predict so again, factor them into each month if they arise and adjust your target.

On the plus side, there may also be times when we are exceeding our goals and targets so again, we should look at whether we want to adjust and aim for higher next month or keep the same targets and aim for consistency. This type of interactivity and mindfulness with our goals keeps us focused on what we set out to achieve and allows us to be firm, but fair with ourselves. This brings me to the next point.

The Reality of the Current Situation

I have written before about the importance of being objective