The new year is a great time to start something new, learn a new skill, acquire new habit, get new experiences, start fresh and leave the past behind. It's similar to the idea of "From Monday I will start doing …". It's like you put a new start point and make a choice of the new beginning. However, if you go to the gym, you can notice how crowdy it is during the first months of the year. And after a while, emptiness takes over the place.
What's happening? Why people are so motivated at the beginning but later motivation, focus and goals slowly vanish? Everybody goes to their same footsteps doing the same thing they did last year and eventually do not reach their goals and desired self-improvement? The short answer - it's natural to drift away from your goals. You have to put your intentional effort to make it work. You have to go beyond natural. We live in the world with so many distractions. Our bodies and minds resist the change, and over time we lose the control and justify it with a bunch of alibis.
I'm too busy. I have no time. I didn't sleep well. I don't feel good. I will do it the next day. It's enough - I don't see any progress anyway. It was a silly goal, and nobody cares. I have a headache.
Yet there is a group of people that succeed in their persistence and determination. They reach their goals and goes on with the new goals next year. Let's go beyond natural and break this pattern - let's succeed this year together.
It's essential to take your time for creating the goals. If you don't have any goals in mind, think of what would you like to improve in your life? How would you like to change? Who is your hero and how your life is different from that person's life? Some popular ideas are:
If you just take one idea from this list and decide to have it as your goal for the next year without any further steps - you will likely to fail. Here is why. Let's take "Read More" as a goal. It's a great idea, but you have to define what does it mean. Does reading 1 page more than the last year counts? You need to define how many books you want to read having in mind how much it's possible to read for you. So it needs to be specific and measurable. "Read 12 books in a year" is specific and it's easy to measure the progress by counting the books. You could even count pages inside the book for more detailed progress. The goal needs to be achievable. Do you think 12 books is too much? Average adult reads 250 words per minute which is an average page size of a book. So one page per minute. Then if a book has 300 pages, it takes around 300 minutes to read a book. It's only 5 hours. If you spend each day 45 minutes reading, you will read one book in one week. Now 12 books are achievable, right?
This kind of definition and analysis you need to do for each of your challenges and goals you want to do during the year. It will increase your success rate dramatically. For "Get Healthy" goal you would need to define multiple smaller goals or challenges to make it more specific, measurable and achievable. To be healthy - you need to have healthy habits. It is said that you can acquire a new habit in around a month. Therefore you could have 12 new healthy habits after a year. Some examples that you could have as habit creation goals:
As you can recognize, they are specific, measurable and achievable. This is how your goals should look like.
Now when you have goals in your mind - you need to write them down. If it stays only in your mind - it will most probably be replaced with "more important" thoughts. You can use Challenge Achieved for this purpose. Let's change the word goal to challenge. Challenge is more motivating and more exciting word. You can choose between 3 types of challenges: One Time, Daily or Number. Just click on one of these links and start creating your new challenge.
So for reading 12 books per year you can pick one time challenge and fill book names as a task list. You can fill all the books when you create a challenge or do it on the fly during the year as long as you stick to the plan.
For "Doing something x times per week for y days" you can create a daily challenge. Just input start, end dates, days per week and tasks. And you will have a challenge where you can check your completeled tasks daily.
If you have some number that you want to increase or decrease you can use number challenge. An example could be "Ride 1000 km with a bike per year". So just input "1000" for the value, "km" as a unit, 1 as a step which will mean +1km for each click and set start/end dates.
You can have as many challenges as you like. Just keep in mind that the more challenges you have the easier is to lose the focus. Start simple and improve while you progress. You can get more ideas on Public Challenge List created by other people.
There is no challenge more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.
-Michael F. Staley
OK, at this point you have your vision, goals, and challenges for the next year. Now here comes a very important part, where most of the people fail. It's sticking to the plan. This requires willpower, dedication, and a constant reminder to yourself why you are doing this and why you want this. It's very easy to forget and drift away from your goals and intentions. There is one trick to kill the laziness and procrastination - share it with others. Show what are you planning to achieve during the year and make yourself accountable. If your whole social network knows that you have these goals and they can check your status any time - you have no choice but keep up going. You want to show them that you can do it, right? Plus if you have great ideas on your challenges people would like to join you as well. It's positively contagious.
When you create a challenge in Challenge Achieved it will be private by default. You can make it public or shareable with URL link. Also, people will see "Accept" challenge button. By accepting the challenge user gets a copy of that challenge which could be adjusted (if desired) and started.
Whenever you get a like on Facebook, new retweet on Twitter or a heart on Instagram you get a small hit of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is released in your brain. It provides that short feeling of pleasure and reward. This neurotransmitter is naturally created by our bodies and it plays a major role in our daily motivation. You could use this boost of motivation for your advantage in your progress and achievements.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
When you work towards your goals daily, you can cross out the task by clicking on it. Not even you will get that short-term dopamine injection with motivation but you are now working on your long-term goals and challenges. Eventually achieving long-term goals like new years resolution will motivate you even more. This way you can start a never stopping cycle when one great action leads to another, forming a great habit and making your life greater than before.
Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.
Now you have all the tools required to complete your new year's resolution: