1 year. It is the time required by the Earth to turn around the Sun. The time for the seasons to pass, as well as the twelve Zodiac constellations. And then the Earth, with us, returns to its starting point. Almost. Because the cosmic hazards infer an approximation, the Earth, every year, does not begin its new revolution from the same starting point than the year before. Every new cycle is different from the precedent. Also, we too, every year, take a new start again. Better than the precedent if it is possible. With new good resolutions to hold, just to move forward in life.
The good resolutions are a projection of what we want to be. Therefore, they are halfway between the artless wish and the proactive initiative. And if the dream is essential to make us rise to our aspirations, the action is also necessary. Without action, we shall live the same solar cycle each and every year. But, as human nature is lazy, most of the time the wish takes it over on the action. Everyone can take good resolutions, but not everyone manages to hold those! Indeed, every year we all would like to change our lives. And every year, the long-awaited important change does not occur, for lack of organized strategy and self-discipline.
The trick I give you in order to hold your good resolutions of the year, it is to CHEAT! To cheat against your too big and thus paralyzing expectations, but without denying them and choosing only small insignificant resolutions. To cheat against your laziness which says you to wait that an event arises because you aren’t able to achieve yourself a change as big as the one that you wait for in your life, but without minimizing your expectations toward the life. The trick I give you to succeed to act rather than to wait, it is to not take good resolutions for the year to come, but to take good resolutions for the two next years!
Begin by identifying the change that you wish to see arising in your life, two years later from now on. Then work on finding an intermediate objective to carry out during the current year. Not everything in your life will change when you’ll have reach your intermediate objective, but then you will be closer to the state you try to achieve.
There are multiple psychological advantages to proceed like that. To begin with, defining an intermediate objective forces you to think about what you need to change before aiming straight forward for the change. That forces you to define a methodology to reach your final goal. And building a strategy is the beginning of the action. To think in that terms is already putting the process of fulfillment on the way: you’re no more going to be different later on, you right now begin to change. And you can’t change what you are without changing your mind. What is actually painful. Yet if you don’t make the effort to think about the work you have to undertake in order to change yourself, then you have no chance to succeed in that task. Now, to validate a good resolution over two years forces you to accept this established fact.
Then the second thing which throws you into the action is that the intermediate objective doesn’t particularly make you dream: therefore, the work to be done will be conceived as work. No more time loss building castles in the sky, no more waste of time passed to daydream in “what life will be good when I’ll have reached my goal …”. Defining an intermediate objective to reach is also a way to think in terms of “movement” rather than in terms of “state”: we are not thinking anymore like “My life is just crap right now… what a loser am I…” and “That is going to be so great when …”. We are not anymore in the magical change of state, but in the transformation of present to build future. And that’s actually exactly how things work.
Finally, besides psychological tricks, the intermediate objective also is a real help, it is like to add a step between two floors: then you can use your legs to push you upward, not only your arms to pull you. As the intermediate objective is easier to reach than the final goal, you will be less afraid to undertake the task, you will be less tempted to say “later”. And then, when it has been reached, as you already have invested time and energy to change, you will be more motivated to end the work the next year!
Having said that, I can hear some whispering at the back of the room, as somebody begins discussing with his neighbor: ” yeah, well, all this stuff is cool, but the guy isn’t really in a hurry, is he? Two years, can you imagine? While all the others hold their good resolutions in a single year? Better trying to motivate ourselves and then go, shouldn’t we? ” And his neighbor, answering: ” what the guy said is still not stupid, but why not trying to reach the intermediate goal AND the final one during the same year? ”
Well, if they had asked me their question, I shall have answered them: ” it is better to move forward two times slower than not at all by taking good resolutions to hold in one year only and not to do what is required to make it happen … And then, does two years really seem so long to you? Please, let’s be serious just one moment: over the last 20 or 30 years, how many good resolutions in the year did you really hold? So, what are you really risking taking a shot with this method, besides losing only one more year? Besides, I agree with you. Two years is long. But as a result, that also gives you responsibilities: at first in the objectives you set, and then in their realization. Imagine all the life time lost if you head for useless objectives or if you don’t finally achieve them after two years? The issue with the idea of setting the final goal the same year than the intermediate one is that this tactic cancels a part of the psychological hack. Doing so, you remain focused all the way on the final goal, instead of focusing on the intermediate objective … In the proposed method, the good resolution of the year is to begin to change. To achieve the change is the good resolution of the next year. ”
And then, if you really are in a hurry, nothing prevents you from heading for twice more achievements over the two years to come than you would have over a single year (which means defining two intermediate objectives, one for each of the good resolutions you take) … But then again, there is a psychological limitation: having reached the intermediate goal of the first resolution, you will tend to say yourself: ” that’s it, I made the job. ” And thus, to forget a little bit the other one … There is no magic: changing a lot request a lot of effort. But in the end, it is better to change a little that not at all. To help you to take action, you have full of resources on the web as anti-procrastination hacks.
Last thing I wanted to evoke with you about this trick is that we could think it is more designed to hold a certain kind of good resolutions than another. For example, it’s cool if we wish to manage to jog, by deciding the first year to walk gradually further and further, and next year to run. The method seems far more complicated to apply if we wish for example to go parachuting. In fact, there is always a way to approach the problem indirectly, in a symbolic way. We can for example begin by taking climbing lessons and going on roller coasters in amusement parks the first year, in order to become used to emptiness and fall feeling, then take address and phone number of a center that can make you go parachuting the next one.
You now have enough material to develop your strategy to face the future. The NeuroHack-Learning team wishes you an excellent year 2018. Could it let your dreams begin to come true!