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The Resolution

If I told you that you can achieve almost any new year’s resolution by conquering two factors would you believe me? If you don’t want to be a billionaire, travel back in time or be invisible, then, read on…

Today marks the end of a pretty horrible year for almost everyone on this planet. Thankfully it is a pretty rare thing to be able to write such a generalising statement however, without a doubt, almost all of us are hopeful for a better year ahead.

On the 1st of January a lot of people will make a resolution. A plan or promise of sort to do something more or perhaps do something less or never again. According to Wikipedia, the tradition of making a resolution dates back to the Babylonians and Romans wherein promises were made to their Gods at the start of their year. Whilst we tend to not making these resolutions with a religious slant anymore, it is, however something that many people do religiously each year.

Drink less. Exercise more. Eat less sugar. Eat more vegetables. No carbs. Read more. Do something different. Learn something new. Improve something. Improve myself. Make a start. Make a difference. Make a change.

Some will succeed, many will fail. Year in, year out people make the same resolutions that they did the previous year but don’t give themselves what they need to succeed. Why is that?

Question 1:- Why are you making a resolution?
If it’s because it’s what you do each and every year, then that’s not the right reason. Whilst you’re not doomed to fail, it’s not the right reason for setting a resolution. A resolution is, ultimately a goal, a target of sort. It’s something that we want to achieve, and, if you read my previous post then you’ll know that a target should be attainable, measurable and ever so slightly out of reach. It’s there to push and improve you. We set them at work and this is the same way we should be setting them for ourselves.

Question 2:- What is it that you want to achieve?
So, the answer here isn’t a resolution, i.e. exercise more, drink less, eat more fruit, it’s about what your end goal is, i.e. Lose weight, Improve my fitness, Learn a new language.

Question 3:- What do you need to do to achieve your target?
So, if your goal is to lose weight, what are the individual components required to achieve that larger target, i.e. improved diet, an exercise plan.

Question 4:- When do you want to achieve this by?
Ultimately if you have no target, you’ve got nothing to aim for. No target is, well, like shooting arrows into the forest randomly. You need a target to see an indication of success. So, if your goal is to lose weight then your target is to lose ‘x’ pounds, but, when do you want to achieve that by.

So, following the above you should hopefully now know why you’re planning a resolution, what you ultimately want to achieve, a projected date, and what you need to do in order to achieve this. So, you may well have multiple resolutions. All great. Maybe you’ve done this and find yourself here once again. So, why is that?

In the end, almost every resolution comes down to two factors:

  1. Willpower.

Whether you want to drink less, read more, run faster or eat healthier, no matter how well you plan if you don’t have the willpower to fight against that part of your brain that tells you to eat the cookies, lay in bed a bit longer or start tomorrow rather than today, you’re going to fail. So, pre-empt this. Set out your rules from the start. If you want to have a cheat day, fine, do so but plan that in from the start. Define the parameters and stick to them.

If you want to exercise more, plan it in, how are you going to fit this into your daily routine. Set the rules and follow them. Be stronger than your mind. If you want to get up at 6am, set the alarm, get out of bed. Day one is tough but each day you succeed you’re closer to attaining your goal and, ultimately the true goal and the true resolution for everything you do in life comes down to not giving in and never giving up.

So, I shall leave you with the words of Dr. Emmet Brown.

… and, if you’re a gamer like me and you too have played Crash Bandicoot, then quite possibly you’ve had to play certain levels at least 100 times to complete them properly. So, you know that last statement is true. If you have enough willpower to complete this game… there’s nothing you can’t do… ;)



Musings on leadership, technology and growing a SaaS based company

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Nigel Cardozo

Mobile Tech Lead, Lego Enthusiast, Rollercoaster Junkie and general puzzle solver.