By now I am sure that you've started thinking about 2016. It's hard not to get caught up in the idea that somehow on Jan. 1, life will begin anew, that magically all your previous failures and successes won't matter anymore because this time it's going to be different.
Let me ask you this: How many times have you made the same New Year's resolution and failed? Once? Twice? Ten times? How many times have you lost, and gained, the same 10 pounds or spruced up that résumé only let it sit and collect dust because you didn't have all the skills listed in the job description so there was no way they were going to hire you? Once? Twice? Ten times?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thinks over and over again, but expecting different results. -- Albert Einstein
It's time to stop thinking about your aspirations as resolutions and start to think about them as rituals. Why? Simple: resolutions are something you say to yourself once on Jan. 1; rituals are something you do every single day. You can resolve to become a better leader, but what will your daily rituals be to help you be that better leader? You can resolve to lose the same ten pounds but which rituals will you do every day that will help you lose weight? You can declare that this is the year you will run a marathon but which set of rituals will you use over the course of the next six months that will mentally and physically prepare you to run for 26.2 miles?
Over the course of the last couple of years, I've observed some simple but powerful rituals our most clients use every day to become better, faster and more confident at work and in their personal lives. Rituals help them succeed at reaching their goals.
Exercise every single day. You have no excuse not to, you just need to change your perception of what exercise is. Exercise is anything that gets your body moving. You can walk, run cycle, swim, yoga or whatever activity or sport you enjoy. "But I don't have the time/money/equipment..." Well then you need the J&J 7 Minute Workout app. Seven minutes, every day, just you, that app, and your body, no excuses.
Successful people invest in expanding their minds. If you talk to the same people, if you listen to the same music, if you read the same magazines, watch the same movies (really, is the ending going to change the 9th time?) you are not expanding your mind. Our clients carve our 10 minutes every single day to read something new or reach out to someone new or listen to a new song or meditate. Each of these habits sparks ideas, creates opportunities, helps you focus and gives you sense of growth.
Rituals concerning the soul are powerful. Every one of our clients that we've spoken to ritualizes a practice around gratitude. Some start, or end, the day by thinking about what they are grateful for; others perform one act of random kindness every single day. Giving of yourself, selflessly, make you feel good. When you feel good, you have a positive perspective; when you have a positive perspective, you are more likely to persevere; when you persevere you are more likely to succeed. See how that works?
Rituals help to build habits that will last you a lifetime. Start small by picking one or two rituals that tie to a core goal for 2016 whether it's to lose weight, run a marathon or get a new job. Trying to do too much will simply overwhelm you and negatively impact your success. Happy 2016.