Whether we’re ready for it or not, 2022 will be here in a few days. Another year will have passed. You’ll look at your schedule, your finances, maybe even at the bathroom scale and wonder if this time next year you’ll be any closer to achieving the changes in your life you’d really like to make.
Setting aside his politics for a moment, Karl Marx once wrote an interesting observation, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” He was of course speaking of national events affecting millions of people. But the principle holds true in our personal lives as well. Our actions may cause us an unexpected setback. But then the next time we’re faced with a similar circumstance, we can’t seem to resist taking the same action again—even though we are fully aware of its detrimental outcome.
Sales of expensive exercise equipment, scheduling planners, and weight loss apps soar in the first few weeks of January each year. People switch from indulging themselves to buying devices and memberships they hope will change how their conduct their lives.
Unfortunately, these hoped-for transformations rarely take hold. Research has shown that willpower alone is not enduring enough to cause significant life change. It eventually gives out and the person goes back to their habits.
The good news is that change is possible and the New Year is an excellent time to work for self improvement.
Business coach Ashira Prossack has helped her clients find success by inserting a step before they make new resolutions, and that’s to spend time reflecting back on the year that is ending. The hustle of the holidays don’t make this easy.
“With the end of the year fast approaching,” she writes, “it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The holidays are often the busiest time of year, and there’s the added pressure of trying to finish up everything (at work) before December 31st.”
Prossack says you have to purposely set aside time to think back. But, she adds, at the end of the year you’re primed and ready to be in reflection mode.
The next step, she advises, is to write out your goals for your personal life and career. Don’t worry yet about how you’ll accomplish them. Just get them down on paper. And be as detailed as possible.
Finally, she says, write up your “game plan.” Identify the things you will need to do to accomplish your goals. And then list the specific steps you will need to take. The important thing is to write it all out. This will force you to think clearly about what it will take for you to accomplish your goal. If you break them down into small, easily doable tasks, you’ll be much better prepared to hit the ground running next year.
And as far as financial goals, it’s a good time to touch base on our goals for the next 12 months.
Have a happy New Year and we will see you in 2022.