There is no way to predict what 2024 will bring except that your life will continue.
It is entirely up to you how your life continues.
The Question: Do you want to be like most people and be the same person next year as you are today, or come next December, feel you have stretched yourself and are closer to living your full potential?
It is common for people to make New Year’s resolutions, committing themselves to achieving one or more personal goals. We see a new year ahead, and we imagine what could be.
New Year! New Me!
By mid-February, most New Year’s resolutions have been abandoned. There are many reasons (READ: excuses) why New Year’s resolutions usually fail; number one is making a resolution, such as I will lose 40 kgs by December 31st, I will read a book a month, I will walk no less than 10,000 steps per day, requires a change of behaviours, and for most people, this is a considerable challenge. Continuing with your current behaviours, habits, and beliefs (When was the last time you questioned your beliefs?) and staying in your comfort zone is much easier than adopting new behaviours, even when you know you will benefit from doing so.
The key to reaching your goals is to consider them holistically. Do not envision your goals as end destinations. Instead, envision achieving your goals as a series of choices you need to make to reach them.
“Life is the sum of all your choices” — Albert Camus, French philosopher.
Say you have the financial goal of wanting to save $7,500 next year. Think of all the behaviours you must change in order to achieve this goal, the biggest being your current spending habits. Changing your spending habits means adopting new behaviours, such as saying “No” to friends wanting you to join them on a night out on the town, not entertaining marketing propaganda, not spending to appear rich, having your bank make automatic monthly savings withdrawals, to even the following the try and true of bringing your lunch to work and making your coffee at home.
I am sure you have family and friends whom you notice say they want to achieve XYZ but act in a way that goes against what they say they want. I see this all the time, especially regarding money and health. Who does not know someone who says they are always broke, yet their consumerism is a marketer’s wet dream? Or who says they want to be in better shape and still treat their body as a garbage disposal?
To achieve a goal, you need to choose the actions necessary to achieve your goal. If you want a promotion in 2024 then you need to strengthen your relationship with your boss and their boss, read industry magazines, take relevant courses, network with industry influencers, and establish a personal brand that you are someone who gets things done. All these activities require a change in your behaviour of choosing actions that support these activities and not choosing to binge-watch Netflix series, sitting around with your “buddies” drinking beers and complaining about how unfair life is or spending hours mindlessly scrolling your social media feeds.
Undeniably, the choices you make determine the course of your life. What you eat, who you associate with, what you read, and what you mentally consume have consequences. Most people do not give their choices and decisions the seriousness they deserve. Start thinking about the implications of your choices, and your life will take a radically different turn.
Whenever I meet someone who complains they are not living the life they say they want, I know they have made, and probably continue to make, bad choices.
Making better choices is much easier when you are focused, razor-like, on a goal or objective. The following steps will help you make better choices:
- Make a list of your top three 2024 goals. Even better, stick images of your goals where you will see them daily. (e.g., your fridge, the back of your front door, your bathroom mirror)
- Every morning, ask yourself what you will do today to get closer to your top three goals. (Your answer will guide you in making choices that support achieving your goals, to saying “Yes” to the right things and “No” to the wrong things.)
- Every evening, ask yourself if you have kept your promises to yourself. (Did you walk 10,000 steps? Did you bring your lunch to work? Did you read 15 – 20 pages of the book you are reading this month?)
By doing the above, you will make better choices, and your life will inevitably change. I guarantee that you will take your life in a new direction if next year you do nothing but question your choices.
Instead of making 2024 New Year’s resolutions, commit to making better choices that support your goals. New Year’s resolutions will not change you; only better choices, new actions, and new habits will.
Nick Kossovan, a self-described connoisseur of human psychology, writes about what’s on his mind from Toronto. You can follow Nick on Twitter and Instagram @NKossovan