Happy new year!
Standard, most of us [attempt to] develop new habits in January. A man hence subscribed at the Gym as a keep-fit plan for the new year. After about two visits, he got busy. Sometime in February, he showed up again. He asked the manager, “What do you call those of us who pay but do not show up at the gym?” Without batting an eyelid, the Manager responded, “Profit!”
Many of us desire improvement but certainly we do not want to be tagged “profit” by anyone. How do we keep up with our plans?
One point I find very important is from George Clason’s book The Richest Man in Babylon:
Should I say to myself, ‘For a hundred days as I walk across the bridge into the city, I will pick from the road a pebble and cast it into the stream,’ I would do it. If on the seventh day I passed by without remembering, I would not say to myself, Tomorrow I will cast two pebbles which will do as well.’ Instead, I would retrace my steps and cast the pebble. Nor on the twentieth day would I say to myself, ‘Arkad, this is useless. What does it avail you to cast a pebble every day? Throw in a handful and be done with it.’ No, I would not say that nor do it. When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure.”
Sometimes we set goals too hard for ourselves without allowing ourselves time to grow through the goals.
For example, one who does no exercise wants to jog 1 hour daily simply because it’s a new year?? Or a busy executive wants to spend 1 hour in silence at lunch hour every day… because it’s 2017. In time, they get discouraged and feel it’s unachievable, unrealistic. What if the plan is to start with 10 minutes a day for 2 months? Ten minutes jogging daily for 2 months; 10 minutes quiet after lunch in the lonely courtyard etc.
Setting achievable targets helps us to celebrate quick wins and to build capacity for growth. It’s better to increase one’s savings by 1% every month till the year ends than to plan to increase it by 12% this year and then jump ship mid-course.
Summary: Count the cost while making your plans; Set small and achievable targets which you can raise with time; and keep at what you choose to do!
Finally, good company makes any journey seem shorter and makes us accountable. Maybe a neighbour wants to jog 10 minutes daily too, or a colleague wants to spend 10 minutes in silence after lunch each workday.
A happy 2017!