Why You Should Ditch the New Year’s Resolution & Look Back Instead

The aftermath of the New Year can be a time filled with energy for some, and a void of motivation for others- regardless of where you sit on the scale, here’s one strategy to ensure your planning for 2020 is more pointed and effective.

Hello everybody, and welcome to a new decade! I’m ecstatic to be back in the office for a new year, and even more excited to be producing some written content for all of you after an enjoyable Christmas and New Year break with my friends and family. To kick off the new year - and decade - we’re going to quickly cover something that I believe is often forgotten in the New Year period in the wake of resolutions, new-found diets and exercise regimes. What am I talking about, exactly? Well, today’s piece is taking inspiration from Tim Ferris’ blog that was published around this time 12-months ago that I believe can be one of, if not the most effective ways to kick off your planning for 2020.

I have found ‘past year reviews’ more informed, valuable and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions.” - Tim Ferris.

Ferris talks of the importance of looking backward, rather than forward in the wake of a new year, stating that “I’m often asked how I approach New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that I no longer approach them at all, even though I did for decades,” he explains. “Why the change? I have found ‘past year reviews’ (PYR) more informed, valuable and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions.” I think it’s also important to note that even if you’re driven by the concept of goals and new year’s resolutions, these can be significantly more pointed, well-informed and actionable after you’ve conducted your year in review exercise. It’s also a great way to affirm the actions and hard work of you and your team for their efforts in the previous twelve-months, which can help spur any of your friends or colleagues suffering from a bit of the post-holiday slump in motivation.

This next section has been pasted directly from Ferris’ blog post:

“Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.

Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.

For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.

Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”

Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar.

That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2019. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.”

Before closing off the piece, Ferris added that it’s not sufficient to simply “remove the negative. That simply creates a void. Get positive things on the calendar ASAP, lest they get crowded out by the bullshit and noise that will otherwise fill your days.” I think Ferris’ concept here is one of the most effective ways to kick off your planning for success as you move into 2020, so please read the full post and try to implement this into the context of your professional - and even personal life - to ensure that you’re prepping yourself in the most effective way possible for a massive year ahead.

I’m back in the office and posting regular articles once again, so I look forward to seeing you in the next post.

Thanks again, and here’s to a massive year of success & productivity in 2020!

Kobi Simmat.

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