Monday, 31 December 2012
I have taken the liberty to choose your New Year's resolution for you: Finish what you start.
Everybody nowadays is weary of making resolutions as a year starts because they know these resolutions are not met most of the time. Desires to lose some weight (the all-time cliched favourite), making a certain amount of money or maybe getting a home in some area are not openly expressed by many any longer. Years of failed resolutions have dampened and disheartened people from setting goals for the year ahead.
Realise that resolutions are achieved based on what you do day by day, not in an impassioned statement of intent made at 12:01am on the first of January.
Sometimes one year is insufficient time to achieve something. If you want to write a bestseller, you will be lucky to finish it within one year, much less get it proofread, published, distributed and sold in the same year. Often we under or over-estimate the time needed to do something. The fact is, often we don't truly know how long something will take. We can only thumb-suck at best.
The best you can do to meet your resolutions and goals is to adopt daily discipline. 2013 for me is simply a seamless continuation of 2012, 2011 and 2010 for instance. I know I will achieve what I set out to do in 2010 based on what I do daily. The time it takes (assuming I work at it consistently and diligently) and the reward I get is mostly out of my hands. As Krishna said, "You have control over the work alone, never the fruits."
There will be no fruits until I finish and complete what I started though. Bemoaning that you tried and that the world is unfair when you didn't finish writing that book, commit to that exercise regimen or physically open that business you wanted to is unreasonable. 95% complete does not count. You can't expect a 95% complete book to get published. You can't expect to lose weight if you "mostly" followed the diet your personal trainer gave to you. You can't say a business didn't work out if you didn't physically open doors to trade -- it doesn't matter how much of homework or market research you did prior.
Great feats are achieved by small everyday choices. Choosing to work out over going to the pub on a Friday, choosing to work on a marketing campaign for your business over couching in front of the TV, or picking a stir fry over a Big Mac will all have positive consequences. Those consequences will all compound and culminate into what you would call success. The thing is you just don't quite know when it will happen.
You will finish what you start when you devote time and effort on a consistent basis. Commitment doesn't have to occur every day, but anything less than four times a week cannot be deemed as real commitment in my opinion.
Three C's to live by in 2013 and forever beyond: Choices, Consistency, Completeness.
Here's to a fruitful, consistent and simplified 2013.