January is traditionally the time when New Year’s resolutions are made as we look forward with enthusiasm to a new year (or in this case a new decade) full of hope and exciting prospects.
For most, these resolutions are rarely realised. Why? Because day-to-day pressures take over and our good intentions are put on the back-burner or forgotten altogether.
One of the problems is 12 months is a long time to maintain the willpower required to successfully complete our resolutions.
Most resolutions fizzle out by mid-February. So, rather than battling to keep things up over 12 months, why not set goals for just one month at a time?
Not only will it keep you motivated, but you will also be able to achieve a whole lot more in the year and feel great about it to boot.
To fast-track you to a super-productive 2020 here’s a plan for the year – just adapt it to meet your own personal goals.
Setting up a morning routine is a wonderful foundation for achieving continuous improvement. Most people say they just don’t have the time in the morning to fit anything else in – in almost every case, that’s just an excuse (unless you’re already getting up at 5 am).
My morning routine starts with 20 minutes stretching and core exercises, followed by 10 minutes of inspirational reading, 10 minutes writing a journal, rounded off with a 20-minute meditation.
I started this many years ago with just 10 minutes exercising and 10 minutes of meditation. The difference it has made to my life is immense. A morning routine is incredibly beneficial, but always remember to start small and build slowly.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are massive. Do yourself a favour and this month make absolutely certain you get at least seven hours sleep a night.
The best way to get the most out of your sleep is to rise at the same time every morning (including weekends). If you get tired during the day, you can always take a power-nap.
Modern farming methods are seriously damaging the nutritious value of the food we eat. The fertilisers, pesticides, hormones and other chemicals used to increase and speed up production are causing all sorts of maladies in our bodies.
Go organic for a month. Buy local whole foods that are in season and cut out junk or convenience foods that have little or no nutritional value.
With summer on the horizon and the days lengthening now is the ideal time to get outside and soak up the energy that nature offers us all. If only for five minutes, get outside and appreciate all that nature has to offer – listen, look, touch and taste the freshness; if nothing else, it will clear your head, re-energise you and give you a natural shot of vitamin D.
Daily meditation is a wonderful practice. Not only is it calming, but it also clears your mind and gives you the opportunity to enjoy what is, without having to think about what’s happening next.
Personally, I find first thing in the morning is the best time to meditate, but it’s whatever works for you.
The Headspace app is a great place to start and you get a FREE 10-day trial:
If you’re having procrastination issues with work, the Pomodoro Technique is a powerful and practical time management tool. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, the technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to focus. Firstly by prioritising one task to focus on per Pomodoro session and secondly by motivating you to eliminate distractions.
Try it for a month and you’ll be amazed at the volume and quality of the work you will produce.
Motivational speaker Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones is famous for many things, but perhaps his main piece of wisdom concerned the importance of reading. He said:
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Get into the habit of always having a good book on hand to read. Whether it’s work-related, personal development, an inspiring autobiography, hobby related or a ‘classic’. If you need a few ideas, check these links out:
With the weather on your side now is a great time of year to make sure you get to exercise every day. Whether it’s a regular daily walk, run or gym class, 30 to 60 minutes exercise will make you feel alive.
If you’ve not exercised for a while, be sensible, start with short, steady walks and build slowly. If that’s not possible even gentle seated exercises will be beneficial:
This month, find something genuine to compliment whoever you come in contact with throughout the day. No need to make a big deal of it, but look for something positive to say to them. It will make their day and you’ll feel great too.
Short, regular fasting has been proven to help cleanse your body so this month, try having just a small amount of fruit and water for breakfast OR lunch. On either Saturday or Sunday, you can then skip lunch altogether.
Mobile phones are wonderful tools, but it is very easy to let them dominate your life. It is impossible to listen or be with someone one hundred per cent if you are constantly checking your phone.
This month monitor your ‘screen time’ on your mobile phone; turn it off after 8 pm every evening and don’t turn it on again until you’ve completed your morning routine (see January above).
Hopefully, as the year draws to a close, you will have found these short period goals more achievable and fun. This month it’s time to look back over what you’ve achieved, what hasn’t worked and what you can do better next year.
Also, spend time this month thinking about what you’d like to achieve during the next 12 months. Then break these goals down into monthly activities. With a bit of luck, some of this year’s goals will have become habits that you love. You are likely to continue with these successes because they make you more productive and happier.
Have fun with this and let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear about your successes and ideas that could help others – email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alan Myers on 0116 278 7788.