Every January presents a marvelous opportunity for self-improvement. Yet, while many make new year’s resolutions, by the time February comes round (or even sooner) many have lapsed back into the old behaviors they had vowed to give up. There are many reasons for this – but the main one is that change is difficult. Change is tough and uncomfortable. Our brains are wired to protect us- to stay in the familiar, to do what they have always done- but this is the enemy of progress. So, I’m going to share some tips for how you can power personal development this year. These work for me, hopefully, they will help you too.
Tip 1. Set achievable goals
We have all seen what can happen in a year… and have all learned a lot about what we’re capable of doing and surviving in 2020. To start your personal change, it’s vital to first define what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Is it career growth? Improved relationships? Working on your physical wellness? Write down your goals and be as specific as possible – and as realistic as possible. It will serve you more to achieve a goal of being able to complete a 10km run by May than to fail to complete a marathon in the same timeframe. Aim for what’s achievable.
Tip 2. Make a plan you can stick to
Now that you know what your personal goals are, you must create a step by step plan to get yourself there. It’s important to be realistic with your time and the amount of effort you can spare… Just like setting achievable goals, there is no point in creating a roadmap you cannot or will not see through to execution.
Tip 3. Be prepared for setbacks
The past year has really reinforced the importance of mental resilience when it comes to overcoming unforeseen challenges – or any challenges for that matter. We know that it won’t always be plain sailing, so while it’s vital to hope for the best, it’s also important to prepare for the worst.
Tip 4. Believe in yourself
There will be tough times when circumstances make you doubt your ability to continue to pursue your goals and when quitting seems like the best way to go. This is when mental resolve and resilience are crucial. Never doubt the power of self-belief – no one ever achieved anything without it.
Tip 5. Be patient
Change doesn’t happen quickly, so patience is a must. This can be challenging when we’re working constantly and seeing little or slow results. Don’t get disenchanted and keep up the consistency. Change is happening every time we take one step towards it. As Desmond Tutu once said, “there is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.”
Tip 6. Be flexible
Flexibility is key to getting around roadblocks so be ready to shift your priorities and re-plan should a major or life-changing event take place. You should never stop refining and updating your plans according to changing circumstances. Be prepared to move with the times.
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