Creatures of Habit
Original post on 1/25/2015 (http://enliiighten.blogspot.com/)
First off, I would like to extend my greetings for the seasons, even though it is late!
For my first post of the year, I figured I would make it about New Year’s resolutions like the plethora of articles out there :) Although I feel the topic of New Year’s resolution is discussed in excess, I figured I would provide a slight input to this topic. I hope the information I present to you is insightful.
Creatures of habit. This term is characteristic of animals due to our propensity to act in predictable patterns. It's like the quote from Gandhi that states the progression of thoughts, manifesting themselves into character and ultimately dictating our destiny. I appreciate this quote because it is terse in depicting the progression of character and realization of our destiny. Regardless of your New Year’s resolution, your character will be crucial in determining how close you come to achieving not only your New Year’s goals, but every other goal you make in life.
The first step I recommend before embarking on your resolution goal is to do some introspection. By this I mean, question and inspect aspects of your being to truly find out who you are. I will use myself as an example. I realized upon continuous introspection that I am lazy, mainly due to a sense of comfort. I am also very competitive and will work hard to win. These two descriptions contradict each other but are very true to my being, and ultimately determine how well I will do in accomplishing specific goals. For example, I do better in short and competitive situations and have difficulty with the opposite.
The next step is to thoroughly analyze the goals you wish to accomplish. What is your goal? What needs to be done to accomplish that goal? What steps do you need to take to accomplish your goals? What do you hope to gain from achieving this goal? What are some obstacles you'll have to overcome? For most people, goals are simply an idea with sparse details. Usually when a goal is nebulous in this sense, it impedes on the progress of that goal at some point whether early on or in the advanced stage, and in some cases, it can even cease all progression completely. I can attest to this seeing that I have had numerous goals that did not pass infancy because they lacked structure. Even though I had envisioned the final product many times, I had never put much thought into the process. This is not to say that you should have it all figured out before you embark on your journey, it is meant to prepare you for the bumps and doldrums in your journey and incite proactivity.
The next step is to calibrate your goals according to your propensities. I believe many people stumble in their journey because of this step. They set goals that don't fit their "profile." I love the saying "aim for the stars and if you miss, you'll land on the moon." It is a great philosophy and approach to setting goals but there is a part to this phrase that is missing. That part is "but make sure you've hit all the bushes and trees surrounding you first." Like I've said, I am lazy! It is a sad but true realization. An issue I had when I was younger was that I would set magnanimous goals for myself when I had a hard time conquering the simple tasks that surrounded me. My room was always untidy, I was usually running late, I was unorganized, and my attention span was short. There were few things that made me move, and even if they made me move, momentum was lost quickly due to my laziness. Knowing this, it makes sense why i failed to achieve most of my goals. I was setting goals that didn't fit my profile. The goals I set spanned a long period of time and had few incentives. Most people are in this boat, setting goals and failing to achieve them because they lack the foundation to drive these goals. They have lived their lives in a certain manner for multiple years and expect to do a 360 within a short period of time. I'm not saying this can't be done, because I have heard stories of people doing this, and I'm sure it took a lot of hard work and consistency. These people were able to achieve such goals because they had tenacious characteristics. Those goals fit their profile.
If you are unfortunately failing to achieve your goals, it will behoove you to follow the aforementioned steps and check the compatibility of your goals with your character. My advice for ultimately achieving your big goals (stars) will be to start with making multiple small goals (trees and bushes) and conquering those. You will have to be a creature of habit, finding little things in your life that you can build a habit of accomplishing daily, and ultimately make part of your being. For me, I've made it a habit of dressing my bed when I wake up, even if I'm late and need to be somewhere. It might seem silly, but achieving these little goals compiles and slowly transforms your character. You will have to be diligent, hitting at least 90% of your small goals daily. Don't waste your time setting magnanimous goals if you can't accomplish at least 90% of the smalls tasks that surround you! I am certain that if you take a look at the lives of accomplished people you will realize they have mastered the small tasks that surround them, allowing them to achieve greater goals. It is like running a marathon. Training does not guarantee you'll achieve a set time, but it will help you get a hell of a lot closer to that set time than winging it would. Training builds focus, endurance, and diligence! Train your being!
On that note, I will leave with these words; shoot for the stars so hard that you clear all the bushes and trees surrounding you, and if you don't reach the stars or the moon, you'll have a clearer shot next time.
I hope this helps and that you will be creatures of habit in 2015. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. Always stay positive and enjoy life.