The beginning of a New Year is the perfect time to set new positive goals for the following months to come. If you made it through the first weeks of January just fine, congratulations! However, don't beat yourself down if you're already starting to abandon ship on your resolutions. According to Forbes, only 8% of people keep their New Year's resolution. As humans, we struggle to change our habits and ultimately become discouraged when we fail. So what can you do when you feel you can't stick to your goals? Figuring out where to start can be a real headache, but luckily we are here to help you get you back on your feet.
Self-actualization, or at least the desire for it, is a shared human necessity. The resolutions you make every year are a way to motivate yourself to become your very best self and fulfill your natural need for growth. However, for them to work, it is important to start off by applying small positive adjustments to your daily habits. It doesn't matter if you're looking to lose some weight, save more money, or eat more healthy. Psychologists agree any personal or professional change starts out by modifying your behavior. You might not see results overnight, but incremental lifestyle changes provide a greater chance of creating real improvement. So how can you begin making a positive transformation in your life?
1. Focus on what matters the most to you.
This works on anything from life in general to your career. Best-selling author Leo Babauta, creator of Zen Habits, writes in his article The Simplicity Cycle: Returning to Paring Down to Find Your True Needs his experience and knowledge on this topic. As we go through life, we welcome new passions and possessions. But according to Babauta, it is important we figure out which hobbies and objects are essential to us. Get rid of everything that is clutter and doesn't fall into that category. It's not a project you achieve in one day, he says, but rather a cycle that repeats over time.
2. Discover your strengths.
Doing this is not always easy, but it's worth the time to know what you're good at if you want to be the best version of yourself. Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, has an interesting approach when it comes to assessing our own talents. In his article A Better Way to Discover Your Strengths, he says it's not enough to just take a self-assessment quiz. Ask others to hold up a mirror for you by asking them of a time you were at your best. When you see your reflection through the eyes of others, you're going to see a clearer picture of your most unique talents.
3. Understand who you are.
Why do you do what you do? What is your purpose? In his article Finding Your Why: How to Discover Your Professional Purpose, Mel Carson, founder of Delightful Communications, shares his own story on how he discovered his and gives advice on how you can find yours. What makes you tick? What thrills you about what you do? Those are questions he wants you to ask yourself. Singling out the qualities that have always been important to you is the best way of identifying your current professional purpose.
4. Build positive habits.
Research agrees, creating new routines is the best way to bring change to your life. In his article How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide, writer, and entrepreneur James Clear maps out a simple guide to help you get started. What's important, he says, is to begin with small habit changes that are easy enough to do, and then gradually improve from there. This way your motivation increases along the way, as well as your willpower to stick to your new habits. Be consistent and patient. If you slip, what matters is that you get back on track quickly.
5. Incorporate the right routines.
Lolly Daskal, president and CEO of Lead From Within, gives out 12 Scientifically Proven Habits That Will Change Your Life for the better. We also have our own list of Habits of Successful Hospitality Leaders you can apply to your everyday life. From thinking positively to questioning your amygdala – that almond-shaped piece in the middle of your brain in charge of keeping you safe – these habits will definitely help you transform your life.
Remember, instead of setting hard or unrealistic resolutions at the beginning of every year, allow yourself the opportunity to reset your habits with every day that passes. Each day is a chance for a new beginning. This permits you the flexibility to figure out what does – and doesn't – work for you!
Interested in reading more about bringing positive change to your life? Check out our list of 8 Books to Read Anytime in Your Career that will certainly help improve your life!