I Will be Better in 2023
Why I will be better in 2023 than I was in 2022. Every year, millions of New Year’s resolutions are made on January 1st, and like mine, many of them never make it past the 31st. But this year I want to be better: better at setting goals and better at reaching them. I made this resolution in January 2022, and here I am again.
I’m pleased to say I did do better in 2022 than I did in 2021, and I expect to do better still in 2023. As they say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And even a little improvement, if built upon year after year, can add up to significant improvements. I already weigh less and am in better physical and even mental shape; mostly due to simply walking our dog more often.
A History of New Year’s Resolutions, Goals, and Habits
New Year’s resolutions have a long and storied history, dating back to the ancient Babylonians. It was believed that those who made New Year’s resolutions were blessed with good fortune throughout the year. Over time, this tradition has grown in popularity and New Year’s resolutions are now an integral part of New Year’s celebrations all over the world.
Now that 2023 has begun, people use this as a chance to reflect on their lives and make positive changes for the upcoming year. Whether it be making lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or eating healthier, setting career goals like getting a promotion or starting a new job, or personal goals like spending more time with family or learning something new – New Year’s is seen by many as an opportunity for self-improvement and growth.
In recent years I have learned a lot about myself: who I care about the most, what success means to me, the world in general, and that my most precious resource is time. The COVID pandemic changed me, and I am no longer willing to set my usual goals, which invariably peter out before winter is over, only to choose the same goals again the following year.
Now, time has more value, people I love have more value, I no longer view next year as much as a given as I have in the past. The goals I set will help me be around longer, be a better leader, be there for my loved ones longer and with a lot more dedication than in years past.
I found a tremendous amount of inspiration in Stephen R. Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which I had previously read, but now it resonates with me more than it did before. I am no longer content to merely talk about making changes in my life, I clearly see a roadmap of how I can actually become a better version of me , leveraging Covey’s habits.
Habit 1- Be Proactive
One of the reasons I feel certain I will be better at accomplishing my 2023 goals is because, unlike other years, I did not wait until January first to start, instead I chose to implement Covey’s habit 1, to be proactive, and began well before 2022 ended.
I got to work and organized my perfect day implementing the 6 other habits and making sure all my goals were represented each day. One of them is to go to bed by a certain time and get up earlier than I currently do. This is a goal I know will be difficult as I suffer from insomnia but will attack it as many times as needed rather than giving up and falling back into old habits.
Habit 2-Begin with the End in Mind
The most important things in my life are likely the same for you: family, job/education, and personal beliefs and relationships. As I contemplated my perfect day, I started by identifying what I wanted to accomplish in each of these areas by the end of the year. As I wrote, a pecking order began to take shape and I had the outline of a day in which I can work on bettering myself and my life in a very consistent manner. Accomplishing this is what I call my perfect day.
Habit 3-Put First Things First
Sometimes the loudest and/or the quickest task that one can do ends up inappropriately taking top position on my to-do list. If not careful, I can spend an entire day distracted by the “less important” tasks on my list, and despite working hard, I am still not achieving the most important goals for that day.
Armed with the list from habit #2, I can clearly identify which tasks will move me towards my highest priority goals and place them at the top of the list. Sure, problems will come up, and occasional sidetracks, but a frequent review of these goals and tasks will help me stay focused on putting first things first to insure progress on the most important goals.
Habits 4 5 & 6-Think Win-Win; Seek First to Understand; Synergize, respectfully:
Most people within my sphere of influence are pretty good folks. Achieving a win-win is not difficult, but sometimes full agreement between all parties can be elusive. Compromise is essential, as one of my goals this year requires a large piece of exercise equipment. Given our comparatively small living space, cooperating with those who share said space was essential in being able to obtain and use this equipment while maintaining harmony. In the end, we are all benefiting by its use.
Habit 7- Sharpen the Saw
Sharpening the saw basically means to work smarter, not harder. Sometimes I get so engrossed in what I am doing, and my goal of “just getting it done”, that I lose objectivity in how I am accomplishing my task. I work far more effectively, and even faster, if I take time to get the rest and personal time I need to refresh myself and feel on my game. Exercise or cycling can provide that personal time for me, and is therefore on my list of activities for my perfect day. Intentionally including it on said list ensures I will fit it into my schedule.
Habits to avoid
To protect your mental health and put yourself in a position to succeed (feeling good), remember, new resolutions are goals you choose, not rules that when broken, cause you to get down on yourself. It’s important to allow yourself to feel good about what you’ve achieved. For example, if you want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more are good goals, not rules to beat yourself up about if you slip up. Begin with goals that feel natural, or smaller goals that are more achievable. In the long run, a strategy of small incremental changes all year long are more likely to be successful. They will also help you to feel good, creating a positive foundation to build upon.
Remember, it’s a new year with plenty of days ahead; a one-day setback is nothing to the success you hope to achieve. First thing each morning, or even the night before, calendar in something that’s easy to achieve and then do it. This small accomplishment is an affirmation that it’ll be a good day, and inspires hope for a good week, month, and year. Goals are often made with the best of intentions, but too often they fail to become a reality. Many of us have experienced New Year’s resolutions that quickly fade away due to bad habits we may not even be aware of.
Covey, identified eight bad habits which could be holding you back from achieving your 2023 goals. These bad habits range from being reactive instead of proactive, to not taking time for yourself by sharpening the saw. By recognizing these negative behaviors and striving to avoid them, you can take steps towards becoming a better version of yourself in 2023.
All goals, particularly those which are ambitious and challenging, often require self-improvement, growth , or deciding to stop doing something. Many are simply forgotten. Using these habits to create a list of the preferred endings/accomplishments, putting first things first and seeking win-wins has helped me, and hopefully will help you too.
By following these habits I am confident that I will be better in 2023 – more organized, focused, healthier, and happier, which is really the objective of most of my goals. I look forward to the leaner, more successful, kinder and more patient version of me in 2023. Will my achievements have more meaning resulting in a more organized, focused, healthier, and happier 2023?
Well, so far, so good, although it’s not February yet, so the real test is yet to come. I have an idea, let’s check back when 2023 is half over in July for a new perspective on my development, I hope…
Final Thoughts, My Personal Goals
Our goals should always be our goals, they don’t belong to or need to match goals targeted by others. It’s important to recognize the importance of New Year’s resolutions and strive to be healthier and better in your personal and business life. Strive to achieve the success you desire by tapping into new resources and beginning new habits, new perspectives, a new journey, or a new process.
Your path for the year ahead will be unique to your nature, needs, and goals. For example, what works for a coworker, may not work for you. Write down your goals, it provides an invaluable roadmap for you to follow on your new journey. By focusing on the end goal and recognizing small improvements, your personal goal or goals, whatever they are, will feel that much more attainable.
My New Year’s resolution is to make the most of my time, energy and resources so that I will be better in 2023 than I am today. I will accomplish this by taking small step by step actions mentioned above, without guilt, and based a lot on Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to be better in 2023. This can be a daunting task, but one way to ensure success is to use Covey’s techniques when they work for you as an individual. These habits can provide a framework for setting goals and meeting them in an organized and efficient manner.
By following the habits of setting preferred endings, putting first things first, seeking win-wins and sharpening the saw (among others), New Year’s resolutions can become a reality in 2023.
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