This New Year’s Day forget about the resolutions. Instead, implement a set of systems. Goals & resolutions alike are for losers because they have no endgame. If you’re trying to lose 20 lbs, and you reach your goal, then what? Most likely you’ll put that 20 lbs or more right back on because you’ve hit your goal, and don’t have a system in place to maintain your weight loss. A more efficient means for losing weight would be to identify what you’re eating that is contributing most to your weight gain, and create a system for eliminating it from your diet. Soda is an obvious example. If you’re a frequent soda drinker, and a little overweight, create a system where you greatly reduce or eliminate altogether your soda intake, and as long as you’re not replacing one vice with another, you’ll see results.
Last year around this time I created a set of rules for myself for 2013. Looking back, I see some areas where I’ve fallen a bit short, but overall I’d say I was successful in keeping with most of the rules I set forth for myself for this past year. In addition to these 13 rules from last year, here are 3 more systems I am putting in place for myself for 2014.
1. Breakfast Before Technology
I earn my living behind a screen, so I do my best to make an effort to completely unplug throughout the day. One of the best times to do this is in the morning. I force myself to drink a cup of tea and eat breakfast before checking in digitally. Even if you’re not behind a screen all day, I’d encourage you to adopt this practice for your general sanity.
I’m stealing this one from Austin Kleon who stole it from Jerry Seinfeld. It is my goal system to create something original every day, no matter how small. My sister bought me a 365 day notebook for christmas, so everyday I successfully complete this task I’ll record it in the book. By the end of the year, I will have a large body of work made up of small pieces I’ve assembled throughout the year.
3. 5 Minutes of Kindness
Humans are by default selfish creatures. We’ve evolved through time by survival of the fittest which has taught us to watch out for ourselves first. However, we should all strive to be more selfless. Along with my one-a-day’s, I’ll be making an effort to take 5 minutes every day to make someone else’s day better. This act of kindness could be anything from calling up my mom or dad to let them know I love them, writing a letter to an old friend, or a simple encouraging text to someone who’s having a rough go of things.
What systems will you be implementing for 2014? Leave your thoughts below.
Additional Reading & Resources – For more on utilizing systems instead of goals to achieve success, check out my 13 Rules for 2013 as well as the links below.