December! It’s that time of the year where we have stalled our thoughts, visions and waiting for 31st December to set new resolutions again. It took me 26 years to realize that i was setting my resolutions in a wrong way. What an utter waste of 26 years! I have failed all my resolutions and the reason was i focused on goals instead of resolutions.

Why Goals do not add any value to life:

“I’m going to lose 15 kg’s by holi”
“I want to quit my job and startup”

Almost everyone had this new year resolution at some point in their life. We joined gym on 2nd January and immediately paid for a 6 months subscription. The first 15 days, we worked out very hard and then suddenly realized that our inspiration faded faster than it appeared. Then you don’t get time to go the gym because your work schedule is hectic. You start missing your sessions and before you know it, the 6 months subscription is over.

Let’s face the truth. New year resolutions are just random statements we made when we were either drunk or excited about the new year. Fast forward one year, we didn’t do anything about it, we are still at the same place where we started.

Why Goals Fail?

Goal setting is not writing a wish on a piece of paper and setting a date to achieve it. You have to design a roadmap and divide it into small actionable dots. The journey starts with executing the first dot and steadily connecting all the dots. Major reasons why goals fail are:

a) Imperfect Goal Setting Process
b) Lack of Commitment
c) Fear of Failure
d) The missing “why”

Here’s what you should be doing instead:

Focus on Habits!

“We become what we repeatedly do.”
― Sean Covey

“I’ll lose 15 kgs within 3 months” or “I will save more and spend less” will never yield results or make you rich because there is no “discipline” to goals. You have not committed to “discipline” but focused more on the fruits of labour. Goals are convenient to set and do not require focus. So it is quite easy to lose focus and side step from achieving your goals. However, building habits requires a lot of effort. We don’t focus on habits because the dream of achieving goal is too sexy. We start feeling energetic when we think about goals.You can imagine how you will look once you lose weight or things you can buy when you get a high paying job, but you cannot imagine waking up at 6 am to hit the gym or working your ass off to acquire new skills to be successful.

Why build habits?

A habit emphasizes more on the process instead of end goal. It’s doing something on a daily basis to master an art. Habits are predictable and achievable. Habits make you productive and efficient to achieve your end goal and makes you a better person than you were yesterday.

Another reason why goals suck is that they lack commitment. For example: If I decide to save money by end of this year, most probably I will lose track and forget the original goal. Whereas if I make a habit of saving “X” amount every month, then most probably I would end up with “X+Y” amount by end of the next year. I can see an instant result of my habit, which brings a sense of satisfaction and achievement.

Another example, The goal is to “lose weight” then my execution plan would be:

Run for 10 mins every day and increase the duration by 5 mins every week [Start Small]
Wake up at 6 a.m
Eat healthy everyday

Based on various research, 30 days are enough to make habit an integral part of your life. So instead of setting new year resolutions, put an extra effort in forming new habits or take up a 30-day challenge.

What are my 2017 NEW YEAR HABITS?

I have pledged that i will introduce new habits and upgrade some existing ones to my lifestyle to achieve my “end goals”. I am really excited to start the journey. I am positive that i will get concrete results by the end. I will share the updates on my progress with everyone to stay focused. Few of my habits may sounds “obvious” or “silly” to you so please bear with me 🙂

#1: Cooking and Healthy Eating
My eating habits are a mess. I eat junk food regularly, attend many unplanned parties. It has resulted in extra weight and addiction to unhealthy eating habits. Cooking will help me to control eating outside and lower the risk of unwanted calories. I will be following LCD (Low Carb Diet) in 2017 (apart from weekly cheat meals) So my cooking will be focused on learning and experimenting low carb dishes. I’ve decided to start cooking one meal every day (mostly dinner) and take help of my maid to replace rest of the meals with LCD. You can read benefits of Low Carb Diet here

#2: Writing
Writing has become an important skill in this competitive era. I want to inculcate writing as a habit because I want to share my experiences in relation to digital marketing. I do not see myself as a blogger or a full-time writer. There are far better writers and bloggers already in the market, but there are lot of people writing about “why” and little about “how”. I want to bridge the “how” gap and share my 5+ years of digital marketing experience with you.

#3: Exercising
Everyone in this world knows the benefit of exercising regularly. What we have been missing in this tedious corporate world is how to take out time from the daily routine and hit the gym. My relationship with gym has always been complicated. My strategy is to start out small and increase my workout each week. I will start with 20 mins workout on a daily basis because it won’t kill my motivation and add 10 mins on weekly basis. The goal is to reach 50 minutes workout by the end of the first month. After three months, I will be taking up 30 days fitness challenge. There are a lot of interesting 30-day challenges on sites like My Health Suraksha, which can keep you motivated. You can read about fitness challenges here

#4: Morning Person
The biggest challenge for me is to wake up early and the easiest is to stay awake till 4 a.m. Being a morning person is definitely one of the habits, many successful people have in common. The positives of becoming a morning person would be increased sleep, productivity and create a schedule for the workout. My goal is to wake up at 5.30 am. I would start slow and decrease 10 mins each week. Eventually, within 3 months my target will be accomplished.

Share with me what new habits are you planning to adopt this new year?