It’s a new year next week. Many of us want to change a few things about ourselves. Exercise more. Eat better. Sleep more and better. Quit something. Start something. Go somewhere. Be better. A few of you will succeed. Some will give a valiant effort and have mixed results. Many will not be able to move the resolutions to a reality.
Each of us has our own goals and dreams and hopes. Maybe you desire to go to the gym five days a week or go to Europe for a week. Maybe you want to save some money or save a life. Resolutions usually focus on outcomes.
But what if we focused on the processes? Amazing things would likely happen. The outcomes wouldn’t be far-fetched fantasies that will never become reality. The outcomes will be a set of progressively achievable improvements in your life.
Six processes that will create an environment for desired outcomes:
- Love yourself.
This doesn’t mean your heart races every time you look in the mirror. It means you will practice self-compassion, take care of yourself, and invest in yourself. It means you will become a better version of you. Think of the announcement on the airplane: Put your oxygen mask on first and then take care of those around you.
- Control your calendar.
A calendar isn’t an organizational tool. A calendar is a vision tool. So you get to determine your vision or a collection of other people get to. If you want to do a regular date night—put it on the calendar. If you want to go hiking on the weekends—put it on the calendar. If you want to rest more—put it on the calendar. Schedule doing more of what you love with the people you love.
- Get help from others.
Things to grow require outside resources. So do people. The tree needs light, water, and soil. You need support and structure. Determining your desired outcome is a pretty pointless endeavor without determining who is going to help us get to the above-mentioned outcome. Mentoring, modeling, encouragement, and accountability are gifts from others to help us grow.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
Don’t compare yourself to who you perceive others are today. Their story and place in life isn’t your story and place in life. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Celebrate progress.
- Stop chasing perfection.
Perfection is the enemy of progress. Don’t focus on the unachievable. Don’t focus on where you want to be in the distant future. Focus on the next step and a series of next steps. Trust the process that leads to progress.
- Stop chasing rabbits.
We live in an age of distraction. Social media, cable television, youth sports, and about a million other things. None of these are bad. But you can only focus on one thing at a time. Set your priorities. Resource your priorities. Limit distractions. Live out your priorities.
I hope you achieve your desired outcomes in the coming year. Even more, I hope you develop healthy, life-giving processes that will allow you to live into your dreams, goals, and resolutions in the years and decades to come!