Start of February and we are slowly sobering up from our New Year’s resolutions. In most cases, they are already all but forgotten. It’s possible that your New Year’s resolutions are even giving you a hang over – a headache and guilt because you haven’t done much to achieve what you promised to yourself?
Most of us fail to change because we promise ourselves too much and expect things to happen immediately and without much of an effort. Naturally nothing changes by itself and switching our daily habits to new ones is actually very difficult.
The reality gap
We give up on our goals and our vision of how we want to be because we promise too much to ourselves. New Year’s resolutions are the worst. “I will never drink any alcohol!” or “I’ll only eat salads and lose 30kg.” The gap between reality and what we think might be the ideal situation is just too big. It will never happen anyway so why try?
The pursuit of perfection
Another pitfall is to chase perfection. Perfection means completeness and flawlessness. Isn’t it the craziest idea that starting something new could instantly become flawless? What ever new ideas we want to implement there will always be drafts, prototypes and alterations.
Someone has said that ‘people expect too big of a change to happen in one year but don’t realize how much can be changed in three’. If we want things to be different, we have to relentlessly work on our dreams. It doesn’t mean making big changes, it means making constant effort.
It’s relatively easy to dream big and set goals. “I’d love to have my own company.” Or “I’d love to change my career.” But to actually embark on the journey towards the unknown can be frightening. Our cozy, fussy comfort zone keeps us nicely stuck because we have to take no risks. Thankfully, to tackle the ‘unknown’ doesn’t mean we have to jump. Just tipping our toes and then taking one step at a time would be enough.
With many things in life there is an illusion of predictability. We’ve seen things before so we thing we know how it goes. To chase something you don’t have and have never done involves facing new situations and learning new things. Why is this the so difficult?
It's disappointing to fail your goals and tasks. The effect is negative, our desire to work on ourselves diminishes and we think it's just too much of an effort and we stick to our norm. It's a shame. Life passes by and weeks turn into months, and months turn into years.
If someone told you that by working towards your dream and doing what you have planned for this week (and every week from now on) you’d be earning 5 million a year in 5 years. Would you work harder and stick to your plan?
I’ve decided to take that gamble.