4000 years back Babylonians started the New Year by paying off debts and bringing back borrowed goods. In Rome, the New Year was considered a time to expunge old ills and set a pattern for the next twelve months. Every Jan 1st, we make a bunch of resolutions which we promise to keep for the year only to find that by Jan 31st, we can’t even remember most of them. If you are such a person, you are in the majority for statistics show that only about 15% of New Years resolutions are kept.
There are three simple ways by which you can keep your resolutions
- One by One: Instead of starting a whole bunch of tasks on Jan 1, space it out and start a new one each month.
Each month of this
year develop one new habit. Make it simple and doable. At the end of
each month decide on a new “habit” for the next month and continue
doing the existing habit. At the end of the year 12 habits will be
- Be specific: Instead of saying I will write every day, set a measurable target like, “I will write 300 words every day”. Instead of saying I will read more books, be precise by saying, I will read at least 5 pages daily. Once these resolutions are quantified they can be tracked.
My first habit was to drink at least 2 quarts of water per day
This is a pretty simple habit but it did take some planning to accomplish. I had to make sure I had a way to measure the water I was drinking and that I had a good source of water that I could take with me in the car and to work. I decided that 1 liter bottles of drinking water would do the trick. I bought a case of them from Costco and took some to work with me. It’s real easy to see if the goal has been accomplished as I will have 2 empty bottles at the end of the day.
- Track the resolutions:Once Brad Isaac asked Jerry Seinfeld how to write better jokes and Seinfeld replied that for that you have to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big
red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a
big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just
keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing
that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your
only job next is to not break the chain.”
Have a happy and productive new year!