How often do we all hear the same round of tips that are supposed to help us achieve our goals? Things like, “Get up an hour earlier.” “Don’t give yourself time to think about it.” or “Just do it.” While these are all fine and dandy and, yes, I’m sure can help you achieve a goal, at the end of the day they are not changing the ingrained habits and patterns you have that kept you from achieving your goal in the first place. Let’s also take a moment to consider how often people actually stick to their New Year’s Resolutions. According to a 2016 study around 9% of people feel they stuck to their resolution by the end of the year. So why is it more of us aren’t sticking to our resolutions and goals? Personally, I think all fingers point to the hustle.
*This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission on recommendations at no additional cost to you
Are you designing life on your terms?
One of the major problems we always run into when it comes to setting New Years resolutions, is that a lot of times, when we look around, we are living lives and setting goals based on other people’s standards for who we should be and how we should show up.
Take the time to ponder these questions before setting your goals for the year:
- Would you actually want to lose weight if our society didn’t lead us to believe there was a correct body type?
- Is chasing a pay raise a new challenge you are giving yourself or have you attached your worth to the amount of money you make or the title you carry?
- Are you chasing a wedding date because that’s the next thing on your to do list or because this person is actually who you want to spend forever with?
It’s so easy to get fogged up with the “rules” we have been lead to believe exist before ever even asking ourselves what exactly it is we want for our own lives.
So, if you’re reading this and you’re not really sure you’re actually living life on your terms (or you definitely know you’re not), check out the Rich Minimalist course that’s designed to help you simplify your way to a life that you design.
What’s the beef with the hustle?
Okay, so why is hustle sooo terrible? Don’t a lot of us need to light a fire under our ass so that we actually achieve something I this life? So may people these days are so lazy and under-productive. In fact, a lot of people would argue that there is a lack of hustle happening.
Let’s dive into that for a second, shall we?
For the last century our culture has done most things in the name of hustle and productivity. More, more, more. This mindset of never-ending hustle has also lead to an increase in things like, divorce, depression and anxiety. Oh, and it’s also lead to a a crippling lack of productivity all at the same time. Let’s not forget that part.
Sure, there are a few exceptions to the rule, but ultimately, the hustle is draining us of our energy, distracting us from what really matters and yes, even ruining actual productivity.
If you hang with me for just a second, you can get some new perspective on how the hustle is killing productivity and what you can do to combat it in an easier way.
1. Plug into a culture of slow down
In any and all situations in life, we are more likely to see success if we surround ourselves with people who are actively working to improve their lives in the same areas as ourselves.
Getting a steady drip of slow-down motivation that reminds us we are already enough while still giving us heart-felt encouragement to do more in a way that feels purposeful and aligned is a sure fire way to ensure success in the New Year or any time throughout the span of a year.
This is why I started my Soulful Minimalism Weekly Newsletter where you can get guidance, support, and encouragement when it comes to simplifying your life and home.
- Weekly inspirational lessons
- Worksheets and journal prompts
- Members-only podcast content
- Declutter prompts aligned with less hustle
If you want to stay plugged into the slow living pipeline while still making shifts toward a newer and better you, sign up for the Soulful Minimalism Newsletter and get access to a variety of tools to help you do exactly that.
2. Hit the delete button
One of the biggest road blocks to our own success is that we still believe that more is better. We become unhappy in our lives and trick ourselves into thinking that we just need one more thing, one more achievement, one more pat on the back to truly feel like we have arrived.
Then sometimes we get that one more thing and we still find ourselves…unsatisfied.
What did we miss? How did we go wrong?
Chances are, we never took anything off our plate. We just started overloading hoping that more would lead to better.
How silly is it that when we find ourselves overwhelmed or unsatisfied in some area of our life, we think we can just keep adding more to our plate and somehow solve the problem? That would be like having a pile of clean clothes on our bed that need to be put away and instead of hanging them we just buy new bedding and throw it over the top.
How to eliminate first:
- If you want to get in better shape, instead of trying to fit the gym into your busy schedule, try eliminating snacks before bedtime.
- When you want to get a promotion, don’t work extra hours, start by eliminating current tasks you do that are not helping your company’s bottom line.
- Determined to improve your marriage? Don’t insist on one date night a week, start by removing distractions like phones and TVs in the bedroom. Wink. Wink.
3. Show proof of completion
One thing that we love as humans is a little instant gratification. This is especially true in this day and age where we have access to just about everything right at our fingertips.
In this world filled with fast-acting gratification, nothing burns us out from sticking to our goals faster than seeing absolutely no results! This is why finding some way to help ourselves see results is crucial to helping us stick with it and make our way to actual, lasting results.
This is why if you are working to be healthier, you should stay off the damn scale. Sure, sometimes it might show you results the way you want, but the next day the number could mislead you into thinking you’re headed in the wrong direction.
The scale will rarely give you an actual visual of your progress. Things like tracking your measurements, recording your steps or simply paying attention to how healthy you feel, are way better than relying on the scale to tell you how to feel.
If you are hoping to declutter your house as a New Years resolution, start by clearing out the junk drawer, your bathroom cabinet, or the surfaces in your home. All of these areas should take 5 to 10 minutes to clear through and yet you get to see results that encourage you to keep going.
4. Lower your expectations
One of the best things you can do for your sanity and productivity is to lower your expectations. Sometimes, even though we have good intentions, we raise our expectations so high that we become crippled by anxiety and overwhelm and therefore never actually take action on our goals.
You can begin to lower your expectations this by:
- Starting with the end goal and then breaking it down into small, manageable steps.
- Telling yourself that you don’t have to do things perfectly, it just needs to get done.
- Create a minimalist schedule and to do list aligned with who you want to be.
For example, instead of telling yourself you need to increase your income by $10K, set a goal for one new client per week. If that feels overwhelming, just decide that you’ll TALK to 10 potential clients per week.
Find a goal that feels doable and that doesn’t cause too much resistance. Speaking of resistance…
5. Un-mask resistance
You know that hesitation we get that tells us not to do something we know we should or shouldn’t do? That little voice of resistance is talking to us big time and it’s time to unmask it for what it really is. A sign that we’re headed somewhere good.
Like when you get up in the morning and your goal was to go to the gym but that voice of resistance starts whispering sweet nothings into your ear. The tricky part is, it whispers these sweet nothings all while acting like your BFF.
You can just stay in bed today. It’s really cold out. Cold is bad for your skin. You don’t want bad skin…remember that’s another thing you care about. You should probably just stay put. It will be better for everyone.
On the flip side you’ll experience resistance when you are trying to cut something out. For example, alcoholics will continue to call themselves alcoholics even if they haven’t taken a sip in years and it’s because that inner battle doesn’t ever go away. The voice that says, “You can just take one sip,” and the resistance that matches it saying, “You’re better than this. You’re doing so good. Don’t give in.“
We will experience resistance in many different ways, but one thing is true: whenever it pops up, it can tell us a lot about what is important to us. Start to recognize this as part of our pre-programming that tells us to avoid change even if that change could improve our lives for the better.
Remember, when your body and brain are fighting you hard this is a good sign that you are on the right track. Instead of giving this voice your time and attention, try treating it like someone whose advice you would never take. Like a frat guy whose been in school for 7 years and shows no signs of graduating. He’s probably got loud opinions, but no one takes him seriously.
Resistance vs. Intuition
It’s important to note that there is a big difference between resistance and a gut intuition. Learning to understand the difference between these two is crucial.
A lot of times when we are working to better ourselves, resistance will show up. When there is something that isn’t the right path for us, intuition will kick in.
You can click here to listen to my podcast interview with Kaileen Elise on how to tap into intuition, but one of the best ways I’ve heard it described is that intuition is speaking when your head and your heart are both in agreement.
6. Make it hard and make it easy
We all know by now that we live for convenience, right? Most of our world is available to us at the click of a button and our attention spans our getting shorter.
That means, when it comes to achieving success with our goals, it’s important that we make our bad habits difficult and our good habits super easy.
Making bad habits hard:
- Deleting social media apps from your phone
- Don’t buy the junk food
- Block your ex on Facebook so you aren’t tempted to stalk
- Remove your credit card from your wallet
Making good habits easy:
- Meal prep healthy lunches
- Put your stationary bike in front of the TV
- Join a gym on the way home from work
- Set up automatic savings transfers
Find whatever ways you can to make good habits a little bit easier. The more you can do this, the more successful you will become in all areas of your life.
7. Enjoy the process
Lastly, remember to enjoy the process. A lot of times we think our final goal is all we need to be happy, when it reality, we are never-ending projects. That means, that in your entire life you will never be a finished work of art.
There will always be a new goal and a bigger dream to go after, so make sure you are having fun in the process.
And remember, don’t chase anyone else’s idea of success. Take the time to learn what your own idea of success is and design a life around that. That way you are sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor and every step that goes along with it.