After I had traveled to Amsterdam and spent my New Years Eve over there with my family, today I came back to reality with spending the second day of 2018 in University. Of course, before that I have celebrated the end of an old year and the start of a fresh year and for sure I have set some resolutions.

But well, my resolutions may look a bit different

Instead of the whole “From now on, I will become an amazing, healthy, good-looking and so on… person”-mentality, I will give my best to continue what I have started. For sure, at this point I could create a list with the things I want to change and the goals I want to achieve. And actually, I did something like this. No, I still do something like this. But on a different and regular basis.

A steady system to check my progress

No, I don’t talk about a plan. The word plan sounds too much like cutting the freedom. It isn’t a schedule either. What I try to advertise here is something different: Instead of defining a list full of areas in which you want to improve and become successful 2018 and name them your resolutions, I offer you to define one simple resolution:

Start your progress today, observe it, adjust it and become accountable for what you do

Sounds familiar? Congratulations! You are on the right track! Instead of defining one time goals, we want to achieve, we should define an idea, how we can measure our progress.

Here is an example of myself: Instead of saying that I want to become more confident, write this somewhere down and forget about it until the start of 2019, I try a different approach. I write it down, but together with other similar points I create a list, an agenda, something I will hold on to. To measure my progress on a monthly, even weekly basis. What is the use of wishes, dreams and plans if we don’t pursue them actively, starting the earliest time possible?

The most important thing

Start now, get momentum and keep going. Instead of postponing possibilities and letting deadlines coming extremely close, start now. The earlier you start, the greater will become your output. And the earlier you will become a better person, successful, fit, more amazing, you name it. It is simple. You don’t need knowledge, experience or the right moment. You need courage to start right now.

The reason I tell you this is that at the fresh start of a new year, most people have this courage. Courage to change things. The will to become better, fitter, greater and more amazing. To rule areas, they love and contribute positively to other people’s lives.

But you have to know, this courage isn’t about 2018. It isn’t even about a new year. You can set resolutions in the middle of the year if you want. They still can come true and you still can be successful in executing them. But we all tend to see coming deadlines as a point where we can restart, where we can take a whole different approach. The end of a year, the fresh start of a new year is what makes it so appealing to set resolutions. The holidays before even increase our will to change things. We lived beyond our means, we celebrated, feasted, ate and drank way too much, while sitting around, almost all the time. We feel like we did nothing at all, seeing kids grow up, realizing that another year passed by, while we still didn’t achieve what we wanted.

This toxic mix is what makes setting resolutions around new year so attractive. This is what makes us saying things like “This year will become my year, I feel it coming!”. It is the reason, why at the start of every year, we become pumped again to finally do something. To change something.

And I can tell you, until one year ago, my approach would have looked the same. I would have written a list like this one:

And I would have tried to achieve the goals I have defined. Realizing that I have failed, after a few months. I would have lost momentum, my will and the courage to start over again. I would have got stuck, while waiting for something magical to happen:

Another New Year

Now things look a bit different. Simply said, I have realized the following: I have to define the things I want to achieve extremely fine. I need to think about how I can get from Point A to Point B in simple, reasonable and understandable steps. I need to become accountable for my own failures and successes, without thinking that my failure is the guilt of others.

Instead of writing “becoming more confident”, and start complaining that it is the fault of others, if it won’t work out, I define “talking to strangers, giving them well-meant compliments and remind myself to stay calm while doing this”. These are concrete actions I can take, they aren’t as abstract as the bullet points above. And I am accountable to achieve them.

Instead of writing “building a great and empowering community around me”, I define “creating huge value for other people, delivering food for thought and sharing my personal values and my personal view on the world with the people out there”. Do you see, how simple it can be?

For sure, there are more aspects, but you get the idea. With doing all of this, I become accountable. I create measurable and achievable goals instead of trying to achieve abstract sentences I can’t explain to myself. I have something to hold on to, something I can relate to.

It is a great method to get behind what you want and how you can achieve it, while being able to measure your progress over time.

There is another clever trick

I tell you, my readers, what I want to achieve, and you can give me a feedback of how I am performing throughout 2018. This is the reason, why other bloggers write posts like “My New Year Resolutions for 2018” and stuff named similarly. On the one hand, they want an audience which gives them feedback on how they are doing. On the other hand, they want to push their selves, because they have promised somebody else something like, “I will blog 3 times a week” or “I will do 2 giveaways”.

That is a psychological push, a trick to motivate yourself. So, what works for bloggers (including me, if you didn’t realize that I am doing the same here), works for you as well. Look for someone, who is honest enough to be able to criticize AND support you. This person is the accountability partner to look for. Your partner in crime and the person who can push you to your limit and sometimes even further.

But even more important than getting an accountability partner, is becoming accountable yourself. You need to understand that you can change things. Not tomorrow, not next week and of course not someday. Right now! Now, in the present moment, is your chance to start the change. To start working towards anything you want. Call it New Year’s Day, call it the day after your 40th Birthday, call it the day after your long-lasting relationship or even call it random day in the middle of the year.

Today, is the day

Start doing now, later you will still have the chance to give this day an appropriated name. Something like “The day everything has started” or “The day I realized that I will change the world”. What I want to tell you here is that you need to start today in order to get where you want. Every postponed starting day is a lost working & achieving day. Remember this.

So, in the end, what is the left, after the first blog post of me 2018? Despite all resolutions, all wishes, dreams, longings, desires and how you want to call it, I want to tell you that you need to take action. Take action in finding out, what you want. Understanding what you want and how you can get there. In defining small steps towards these goals and most importantly in starting today!

All the best for 2018 and that your concretely defined goals will come true (because of the fact that you start today)!

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