Thursday, 30 December 2010

MMXI 2011 - Making the best New year's resolutions ever

I am writing this weblog as someone who had consistently failed on my new year's resolutions, i gave up making resolutions entirely for a few years. But now i think that i've mastered the art and i'm hungry for the new year. Let me share my lessons with you...

1. GET SOME: The first important thing about new year's resolutions is: make some! Dare to dream, permit yourself to aim a little higher in any area you choose. Get creative - what in your life needs some work? What would you like more of?

2. DON'T OVERLOAD THE WAGON: People confuse New Year's resolutions with 'concoct a list of the most amazing things that could ever happen to you, in the near impossible time frame of a year'. New year's resolutions are about achieving aims and growing your world in some way that means something to you. The resolutions that are easiest to stick with tend to be incremental. I'm not trying to dampen your big plans, i'm just saying that you're probably not going to get to do a spacewalk, scale Annapurna, break the 100m world record and invent a perpetual energy machine within the 12 months. (And if you do - i'll sure as hell be subscribing to your weblog! Sign me up!)

3. SO WHAT ABOUT THE MEGA GOALS? For your major, life-defining, 'this is my calling' type goals (which will probably take more than a year to achieve) make your MMXI new year's resolutions some of the milestones en route to the summit. Chunk your dream into bite size pieces that you can celebrate every single one of them when you achieve them. This prevents you from getting totally demotivated by waiting for the huge celebration at the completion of your elusive mega project. So, if you want to be an internet entrepreneur but don't yet have any products to sell, a website or a registered company - then get to it one by one! Don't wait until you secure your first million dollar contract before you fizz open a bottle of Vintage Krug Clos D'Ambonnay.

4. GET SPECIFIC: Make your goals bold, alive and colorful - but actually build in some quantitative specifications. Obviously this is very easy for financial goals. Rather than 'pay off some of your mortgage' - make that 'pay of $10,000 of my mortgage before July 31st'. Make sure you hammer down the small print, otherwise, if you're anything like me - you'll look for the easy option when the going gets tough. Be clear with your goal: Does this include your usual repayments or are you going to make this $10k additional to what you're already coughing up.

If your resolution is to 'generate a passive income stream' inject some further clarity and say 'by the end of December 2011, my aim is to generate $200 a month through a new passive income stream'.

If you wanted to get back on the dating scene and you've been single for some time, you may want to take it slow and set a goal like: 'go on 6 dates' or 'ask out one girl/guy'. This would be a BIG step if you haven't done it for 10 years.

5. ARE YOU COMMITTED TO YOU MMXI GOAL? You have to be really committed to a new years resolution for it to come into fruition. In hindsight, i don't actually care about having slightly nibbled nails... it's not important to my life's work. Long nails just get in my way - rather than providing me with any kind of Samson-equse super strength.

6. KEEP REVIEWING YOUR PROGRESS: Revisit your goals at LEAST every month. We all have some monthly cycles. For the last year or so, i've looked at my goals every time i submit my monthly consulting invoices. It's a 30 day cycle which is always in the diary. It is a particularly synergistic time for me, since a lot of my recent goals have been in the business domain. Therefore, actually reviewing my plans when i'm calculating how much money i have made - works a treat. I also review the progress on my personal and spiritual goals during this time. I meditate and ask myself 'how has this month been compared to last month? Am i calmer, happier, more confident? Am i growing every month?'

But please don't forget about your new year's resolutions by January 5th or discard your aims the nanosecond you hit an obstacle - because they just won't come to life that way. You gotta let them cook! Write all your goals down, put them on a list on your bedside table and incorporate them into your morning routine. Or set regular reminders on your cellphone. These are small steps and you owe it to yourself to follow through.

If you're not already a member of 43things - then take 5 minutes of your life to sign up to the website. I know that i owe a lot personally to this website, as really helped me when i hit a few hard times and my dreams looked unobtainable.

7. PUT PAST FAILURES ASIDE: I guarantee, you are not the same person you were when you failed before. So, don't be put off if you couldn't deliver on previous attempts. However, just like i did, you probably need to review where you went off the tracks before. My problem was that I was setting myself either unimportant goals or crazy goals that were so far out of my orbit, i could never have reached them. Plus, i didn't put in place a framework to review progress.

Also, if you slip a little - don't beat yourself up - just dust yourself off and carry onwards and upwards.
You're a better person for taking a fall now and then!

8. TIME TO PAAAARTAAAY: Celebrate! when you reach your goal, treat yourself! I once threw a party when i reached a very important goal. It was mid-September and I told all invitees why we were having a party. All my friends were extremely inspired and positive. Many of them said that it encouraged them to put a little more energy into their plans. When you succeed - you've gotta spread that around! You have to inspire others - there are so many people falling on their face right now and you need to help them gain the strength to get the hell up. The Law of Reciprocity says if you give a gift, your gift will be returned. When my friend managed to achieve an important goal - i knew that she wouldn't have anyone else in her life to congratulate her in the way that i could - so, in the absence of proud parents or an thrilled mentor. I made a huge fuss of her and bought her a gucci clutch bag.

Whilst i'm quoting universal laws, i will add that the Law of Abundance states that there is more than enough 'good stuff' for everyone, in improving our lives and making ourselves more happy - we're not chasing a scarce resource. So pleeeeeeease share with others and help others on their goals.