The start of a new calendar year is a great time to set new goals. My own goal this year is to spend more time appreciating the small things in life; spend time tending to my potted plants, reading more and learning to sing. Beyond that the one thing that needs fixing is the regular upkeep of my monthly budget sheet, I get too caught up in things and only get to it at the end of the month. By then I am too lazy to fill in the details and think that I’ll be more regular the next month when the same thing occurs. Ideally, I should keep the sheet updated at all times with all the details, else the entire purpose of the budget sheet is defeated.
Anyway, when we start the year with strong resolutions, it means we really want to achieve this change. Many a time the change doesn’t come through, because somewhere along the way, we get distracted and lose the commitment.
If, like me, you too have resolutions that you would finally like to see through by the end of the year 2022, then like me, what you need to do is commit to those resolutions by following three simple tricks.
1. Write and stick up
This is perhaps the most important trick. What you need to do is write up your resolution or goal and literally, stick it up in a place where you will see it every day, at least twice.
The inside of your wardrobe door, or a part of the wall in front of your bed or the kitchen wall where your tea and coffee maker is. These are surfaces you will definitely see through the day. When you are there, the words in front are a constant reminder. You don’t need to write in any great detail, rather in short points and put no more than three resolutions at a time, write what you desire to do.
Here is what my list would look like:
My 2022 list of DESIRES
Better plant connect 🪴🏵️
Read, read, read 📚
Updated the budget? 🧠💰
This is short and illustrated to help in visualising the action and outcome that I want to achieve. The keyword here is ‘want’ and that is why, instead of using words like to-do lists or resolutions, we can say ‘Desires’. A list like this in colourful ink, will make the tasks that much more attractive, sparking that desires to get to it. For those, who are good at ignoring and evading simply thanks to lethargy, may even want to put up this list in two or three different places. After a point, you will only be thinking of these desires and getting to it will come naturally.
2. One step a day
Once you are all set to get the tasks done, the enormity of it might start to make you anxious. Just thinking that this is something you have to add to your daily routine, itself can begin to seem stressful for those who have a full calendar.
The key is to break it up and start small. My goal of tending to my plants, needn’t begin with digging the soil and de-weeding all 50 pots in one go. That can be quite a task. Instead, I’ve decided to pick up the smaller pots first and then move on to the larger ones.
The idea is to take one pot a day and work to check that one plant’s health and growth. The resolution really was set with the objective of connecting better with the parts of nature that I have in my home. The idea was never to be super productive in gardening. I love nature and yet, lately, I found I barely spent any time with my plants, even the watering is outsourced. In order to enjoy my plants and feel the energy that they have, I have decided to physically connect with them. Making it part of a new year resolution helps solidify my resolve and at the same time gives me the opportunity to move towards a productive outcome from the task. My ultimate goal, maybe this year or by the next year is to be able to create a Bonsai by myself.
Instead of jumping into the deep end and starting with the Bonsai, I will pick a small pot once or twice a week and tend to that. As the thumbs get greener, I will start to take up bigger pots and eventually make gardening a part of my everyday life.
Take one small step in the direction of your resolution, rather than tackling an entire big task all at once.
3. Treat for effort
Why not make the task even more attractive by adding a treat at the end. A treat doesn’t mean you have to get something to eat, but you need to gift yourself for your effort and why not make that gift worthwhile. At the end of the month of gardening, I’d be thrilled to add a new plant to the garden and that could be my gift or a course in Bonsai making could be my gift.
Find ways to make the resolution as attractive as required. If the gifts are part of what you are doing, then it becomes all that more motivating.
If you are making an effort to change, you deserve to gift yourself a treat for it.
All these tricks are very simple to follow and you can do it yourself. Change is not always easy and we are not all self-motivated at each phase of our life. What we need to do is trick our minds into believing more deeply that the change we seek is indeed positive for our mental, emotional, physical and financial health. This belief can be built by putting in place these small nudges, which will keep our minds connected to our desires even on days when the tasks seem uphill. The nudges continue to remind us of the deep-seated reason why we were seeking the change and making resolutions in the first place.
Try out these tricks and let us know if they work for you too!