Who didn’t experience a point in his life where a new year equaled new resolutions? A start to a fresh year, where we felt like we want to rewrite our book of life, with a whole new chapter. With writing something special. Something meaningful. And of course, something lasting and successful.

We were at points where we want to change everything. Not only the circumstances of our daily lives, but also our personalities. We set goals like becoming more mindful, increasing our confidence, finally getting the summer body, we ever wanted and finding the partner of our dreams. We told ourselves that we can rule the world, if we want to. “New year new me” and all the other mantras we told ourselves, even our friends. Starting from scratch. With defining who we are, where we are and what we are.

Welcome to 2018

Of course, this year could be the repetition number x of all of the above mentioned. Maybe even it was, until so far. For sure, we would find something we want to improve. Not only the personal aspects, but also material ones. The new car. A bigger house. A more expensive watch. There are lots of opportunities out there for a steady increase, a steady growth. Of course, 2018 then would be the year, we all would achieve what we want. Because now, at the beginning of the fresh year, we are pumped to change things. We are pumped to create a new order, make things different and become a better person overall. We will spend hours and hours learning, contributing and improving ourselves. Pressing the last energy out of our perfectly nourished bodies to get where we want, become who we want, look like we want and impress others the way we want.

Nothing would stop us, no friends discouraging our believes and dreams, no debt, no excuses, no fear, no doubt. We would overrun everyone and everything with our motivation, our will, our success.

And then, we realize that 2018 is just another year

For most this realization comes after about 2 months. They understand that they have tried to work on too many construction sites at once. They juggled too many things at the same time. Trying to get fit, while building a positive habit, while becoming more mindful & confident and achieving the grades they ever wanted. Running to the gym after learning for two hours, while thinking about how awesome it is to be in the present moment, while solving mathematical equations. Is this how a new year, a fresh start should look like? And why do I tell you this? You painfully experienced this on your own, probably a few times.

Resolutions often equal a quick, unthoughtful promise

Resolutions in general are something worthwhile. You promise yourself to improve yourself over the course of for example a year. You recognized problems and with defining resolutions you want to create a plan to solve them. It is like being a pilot of a plane, recognizing that you have left the best route and now trying to get on it again.

The problem with resolutions isn’t their definition, it is their fulfillment. Let us take the mentioned pilot example: Your instruments show a different route and you are willing to fly this route, but there is fog and you have to manually adjust the route every minute. Instead of trusting the instruments and using the auto-pilot.

Real life distractions

In real life, this means that you almost never have good weather where you can fly your plane or manage your life easily. You have health problems, job problems, financial problems, relationship problems, responsibilities and more which comes in your way and avoid you from achieving more. There are doubts, fears, anxieties and other negative emotions which create a storm right in front of your plane. Sometimes, you even see a different plane, which comes in your way and you have to elude before you collide.

This means that we overwhelm ourselves with becoming the person we want to be within the first months of the new year. We set high expectations, we can’t fulfill in the given time. Men want to have a six-pack within a few weeks, although they never trained this hard before. Women want to become more confident and defend their own opinion, without having any idea how to do.

As you probably experienced on your own, often, we have to juggle multiple things at once. And in such situations, we want to improve ourselves?

But, this isn’t the only problem

In a plane, the pilots are in their cockpit, without any influence of the passengers. Except a situation in which a passenger gets hurt or has a stroke for example. In such situations, the cabin crew informs the pilots and they have to act in the right way.

Back to the real world, where it is a bit different. In the real world, you experience influence from others. But in comparison to the plane example, it is like every passenger can talk to you anytime. There are the “normal” passengers, people you see from time to time but don’t have any sort of relationship with. You could describe them as society with all its values and norms. Then, there are your friends, the passengers in the business class who have more to say. The ones from which you have some influence on an at least weekly basis. And finally, there are your loved ones who symbolize the passengers in the first class. They have the most influence on you. Their opinions have a huge impact on you.

There are a lot of influencing sources on a daily basis

This could mean, that you try to satisfy everybody around you, while trying to achieve what you want. This would be the mistake I have made. But this, could also mean that you mess up your own goals, because you feel like you have to work on everything at once.

Still, you have one advantage over the pilot in the plane, you can decide who should be seated on which seat. You can fire people out of your plane or you can invite new people to come over. It is absolutely up to you. On the one hand this opportunity is great, because you have the freedom you need to surround yourself with supporting and empowering people. On the other hand, it is hard, because more often than not you will see that some people aren’t adding value to your life, although you call them friends. Actually sometimes, it is quite the opposite: some friends absorb your positive mental energy.

Coming from external factors to internal factors

In addition to the external factors, a pilot has to check if everything is ok with the plane he is flying. He has to check if the turbines got their fuel and the steering system is actually working the way it is supposed to. Also, he has to control the different parameters and make sure that flying the plane is safe.

Where is the parallel to you?

Despite all your resolutions and goals, you want to achieve, you still have to manage your own body. Your own engine, ready to tackle the obstacles in life, if good maintained. You have to check if your fuel is high-quality and if some parts of your body hurt. You are the caretaker of your body, the maintenance assistant and the manager.

How this could influence your new year’s resolutions?

Imagine a plane flying properly without having enough fuel. Imagine a plane flying properly with too much fuel. Yes, we aren’t plane constructors or rocket scientists. But we understand that the aforementioned would be pretty hard to achieve. Still, most of us don’t take any care of what they use as fuel. They use the cheap and dirty kerosene instead of the good one. Day by day they eat and drink crap and wonder why they are tired at 3pm although they slept until 10am. Of course, someone is tired if the body tries to make at least something out of bad fuel!

But there is also another side: If the pilot flies the plane all the time, both get strained. The pilot will lack attention, while the plane is going to break. The same goes for your body and yourself. Listen to yourself, if you need a pause. Then pause and recover yourself. A working plane and an attentive pilot are essential to travel the world. A healthy body and an attentive you are essential to conquer any problem.

Here is your outline

Although you set resolutions and although you want to achieve them, you should consider that there are a lot of variables in the equation. You can’t change them all to perfectly fit your needs, but you have the chance to change the majority of them to become the person you want. Maybe not in one year, but on an ongoing basis.

Therefore, you have to remind yourself to avoid overcommittment

You can’t and won’t change everything at once. Simple and reachable steps are what you should prefer instead. Don’t declare getting a summer body, becoming a high-achiever and making new friends as your new year’s resolutions at once. Split your goals and create actionable and reasonable steps to get there. Even better to do this on an on-going basis. Take your time to revisit your goals and resolutions, define them properly and take action.

Be a good pilot.

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