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Haider Al-Mosawi @haideralmosawi
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There are 2 popular attitudes when it comes to #newyearresolutions:

1- "Resolutions are a waste of time"

2- "I always make resolutions (but never keep them)"

In this thread I'll explain why resolutions commonly fail & share strategies that have served me well in the past...
I can't emphasize this enough: failure is an integral part of success.

Failures are stepping stones towards your goals, provided:

1- You don't give up

2- You learn and adjust your approach
"Resolutions are a waste of time" is an attitude (usually) held by those who have given up.

"I always make resolutions (but never keep them)" is an attitude (usually) held by those who don't learn from failure and repeat the same mistakes every year.
So let's do things differently this year. Let's:

1- Embrace failure as part of the process

2- Identify what works for us, what doesn't, why does it/doesn't it work, & decide what we'll change

Remember: "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results."
There are 5 ingredients to effective New Year resolutions:

1- Adopting a SCIENTIFIC attitude
2- Having compelling GOALS
3- Identifying the HABITS that will get you there
4- Cultivating the right MINDSET
5- Choosing the appropriate TIMELINE

I'll offer tips & suggestions for each

There's a predictable pattern to New Year resolutions, and it ain't a pretty one.

It has a LOT to do with:

1- Our vantage point (goals are easier to set in the future vs to pursue in the present)

2- Relying on motivation/willpower
A scientific attitude means you:

1- Aim to understand patterns (universal and individual)

2- Identify the variables that can be adjusted (to get different results)

3- Don't take things personally or emotionally

4- Become curious to understand why

5- Treat life as a lab
(Scientific attitude, cont.)

6- You constantly conduct experiments to see what works and what doesn't (giving yourself enough time and trials to reach reasonable conclusions)

7- Treat failure as feedback to learn from

8- Accept things not going as planned, and adjusting
Without a scientific attitude it's easy to get demoralized, frustrated, lose hope, and resort to self-blame.

It's not your fault. There's nothing wrong with you. But you have to find an approach that works for you, and you need to have the patience to discover what that is.

Pick goals that:

1- Matter to YOU

2- EXCITE you

3- Are BIG enough to keep you engaged (more on anxiety/overwhelm later)

4- You would (or can) enjoy pursuing (because the journey matters)
GOALS (cont.)

5- Cover the 7 life areas (explained in the tweet linked to)

Tip: If you're excited about a career goal not health goals, recognize how the health goals can help you achieve your career goal, and incorporate the health goals as support.


1- Break down your goals into tangible things you can DO to achieve your goals

2- Focus on the habits that get you to your goals.

3- Take it one day at a time. If you've stuck to your habits, then it's a good day
HABITS (cont.)

4- Focus on the GAIN (from where you were to where you are) vs the GAP (between where you are and where you want to be) (idea from @StrategicCoach )

5- Prioritize habits that increase/improve your: Time, Energy, Attention, Mood (TEAM)
HABITS (cont.)

6- Aim for STUPID small habits (also known as mini-habits or tiny habits)

Check out the excellent "Mini-Habits" book by @StephenCGuise:…

You can get more scientific support for this approach from the work of @bjfogg on tiny habits.
HABITS (cont.)

STUPID small = 1 push-up a day, writing 50 words a day, writing code for 15 mins, etc.

The goal is to SHOW UP to the habit & experience ZERO resistance towards the habit (cos it's so small it's silly to say no to it).

"80% of success is showing up" ~ Woody Allen
7- Keystone Habits are habits that make it easier to develop other habits (see @cduhigg's book The Power of Habits).

Examples of keystone habits: meditation, exercise, clean eating.

(A keystone is what holds other stones in place. See image)

1- Break the perfectionist idea of a "clean slate" (you don't have to start 1 Jan)

2- Don't leave your comfort zone, but go to the edge of it. That way you stretch yourself without facing too much resistance, allowing you to expand your comfort zone with time.
MINDSET (cont.)

3- Replace anxiety with excitement. Adjust the size of the challenge you're facing so that it feels manageable (see the two images on the importance of a little stress/challenge, but not too much)

You want to aim for flow and optimum performance.

1- A 1 year timeline is TOO LONG to plan for. It can feel overwhelming or offers too much slack ("I didn't do so well the first month, but I have 11 months left).

2- Work in 90-day/3-month sprints: 90-days aren't too short, too long, & can lead to a life transformation
TIMELINE (cont.)

You can write and publish a book in 90 days, make progress towards the body you want, develop competence in a skill you're pursuing (playing an instrument, learning a language, etc), launch a business, and achieve a host of other meaningful goals.
TIMELINE (cont.)

3- Set regular reviews and reminders of why you're doing what you're doing and how well you're doing. This can be daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly (your 90-day timeline)
And that wraps up this thread. I hope you find in it some nuggets of wisdom that will help you achieve your goals.

Please share with me what's worked for you in the past, so that I and others can benefit from your experience.

Wishing you a joyous year full of accomplishments!
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