Continual improvement over empty promises
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I never have. I feel that I need to be constantly improving myself instead of waiting for the beginning of the next year to set goals. Sure, we all get off track, but I’ve found a better way to sustain forward movement instead of the annual ritual of planning to fail.
Unfortunately, it’s not my idea.
The power of time
The idea came from the book, The Slight Edge. And to paraphrase the author’s great work, time works for you or against you, so in order to tackle any task, break it down into manageable pieces and work on it a little bit at a time. I adopted this in my reading style several years ago now, and I’ve never read more in my life. The secret? Consistency. I read at least 10 pages a day every single day. At least that’s the goal. It doesn’t always happen, but it usually does. And there are a lot of days where I have the time and get into the reading, and I do more. I’ve been able to tackle a lot of the great books over the last few years. Books that I never could get through for one reason or another, but I could read 10 pages per day. I finally got through Don Quixote this way and Atlas Shrugged. I’m on the Iliad right now, and I’m already a quarter of the way through it after just a week.
Consistency is the key
Now, take this ability, and apply it to ANYTHING you would have had a New Year’s resolution for. I want to write more, so I’m doing a 500-word-per-day challenge. Already, from last year, I have written more than ever before using this same method. And if 500 words end up being too big a chunk, I’ll drop it down to 250. If I can do 250 words per day for a year, that’s 91,000 words per year. That’s the average sized novel per year.
But you can apply this tactic to anything you can break down into smaller, daily tasks. I’ve used it from cleaning the garage to gardening. It’s the basic “eating an elephant one bite at a time” principle, and it absolutely works. I challenge you to look at your New Year’s resolutions and break them down into bits that you can fit into 10-30 minute daily bites. Then commit to doing them every day for two weeks and see how far you’ve come.
Stick to this, and you won’t have New Year’s resolutions anymore because you’ll be constantly coming up with new ways to move forward and won’t have the annual regrets.