Spend time planning your New Year

January is the busiest time of year in gyms, but rest of the year is much less crowded. A lot of our friends talks about quitting smoking in the new year, but most of them get back to smoking as soon as February. A lot of people plan to get out of debt and saving some money, but still, they spend hundreds on sales after New Year’s Eve. Why?

It’s easy to find New Year’s resolutions. But without conscious thinking about what you really want to achieve, most of the time we end up with the most common among our peers. Without really strong commitments, thorough thinking and real planning, most of these resolutions are doomed because you don’t really want them. And that’s why January is so extraordinary compared to the rest of the year - a lot of things starts just to end a few weeks later. So how to improve your chances of achieving your goals in 2018?

Create the vision of yourself - who you will be in a year from now. If you struggle with your weight, it might be something like “I am a fit and healthy person, admired by my friends about my good health habits and strong diet commitments”. If you plan to start web engineering, it might be “I am a junior web developer in a product company, truly involved in open source community contributing to two projects that I frequently use”. This will help you define what you really want, without thinking about how you can get there. Use your imagination and think who you want to be.

Only then think how you can get there and build goals. Don’t follow the herd and don’t choose “go to gym” or “quit smoking” immediately. Look at your vision and choose what feels best to achieve it. Every new commitment reduces our chances to achieve the rest. The more we want to achieve, the less we are actually focused. If you spend your mental energy on creating habit of using public transport instead of your car, you might not be able to focus enough on learning a new skill and changing your job. And if you build your vision carefully, it might turn out that it’s much more important to make you happy to learn this particular skill than use public transport.

Think about your motivations behind your goals and find out why you really want to achieve these goals. Moreover, if you struggle with finding motivations for your goal, you probably won’t achieve it and it’s not a good goal for you. Know it from the very beginning - maybe it’s better to spend this time somewhere else.

Think about and be aware of risks and obstacles that can happen over the year. You will feel safer and less stressful about that. Conscious thinking about obstacles lets you notice these obstacles appearing much earlier and thus allows you to get prepared and overcome them with more confidence.

Once again, don’t forget thinking about next year. You don’t have to share the results of this with anyone. Don’t feel ashamed of ambitious goals and who would you like to be in a year from now. Plan, prepare and achieve it. And do it consciously and deliberately - don’t plan for what the world wants you to be. Plan for who you want to be.