Be honest, how many times have you made a New Year's resolution that did not come to fruition?
You have great intentions, fire in your belly, eager to make worthwhile changes to your lifestyle.
A week later, you've forgotten all about it.
That has been my problem for years, New Year's or otherwise. I would have lofty ambitions, set big long-term goals but rarely achieve them.
The issue was I wasn't putting any real thought into it. We are told to have goals, to reach for the moon, but if we don't actually plan out how to build the space ship we'll never get there.
Near the beginning of lockdown last year I read Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear.
It's all about making daily, minuscule changes to change your habits and get 1 per cent better every day.
Essentially, you work backwards from your long term goals and that's what I've done. I have a whiteboard in my bedroom with basic daily goals, all aimed at getting me closer to my long-term goals.
I want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. The long-term goal is to lose 10kg, but if I just said that without putting anything else in place I'd have no accountability and probably give up.
Instead, some of my daily goals are to stick to my nutritional plan, do a workout and complete 10,000 steps. None of these is super challenging on their own but I know if I do them all most days I'll go a long way towards achieving my goals.
I'm also trying to erase my credit card debt, so I have five days of no spending each week. Those are further boxes to tick on my list of goals each day.
The others are to make my bed and turn my phone off at 7pm each day. Little things that help keep my mental health in check and make me feel good.
I find these goals help keep me accountable every day. There might be snacks in the office for everyone to share, I'll be tempted but then I'll think to myself; "No, I'm going to feel better if I can tick sticking to my nutritional plan off my list".
I think the key is that none of these daily goals seems impossible or overwhelming, but I know they can lead to big changes overall.
It may not be for everyone but I'm certainly a lot happier and healthier than I was a year ago.
10 books and podcasts I recommend for those seeking self development:
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
2. Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear.
3. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.
4. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.
5. Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.
6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.
7. Not a Diet Book by James Smith.
8. Chasing Excellence with Ben Bergeron.
9. On Purpose with Jay Shetty.
10. The Anxiety Podcast with Tim JP Collins.