Age 12. Christmas family dinner. My grandpa who was self employed, was a man of habits and discipline. Christmas was the day he wanted to spend time with the family. Without exception, we would gather for Christmas dinner (or lunch, I can not recall!), every year.
I felt really good being around my grandpa who was funny, generous and jovial. He had certain habits which i was a fan of. Waking up early in the morning before the sun rises, watering his flower plants, waking us up at 6 AM, gathering us for the family prayer etc. Even at an old age, he was more quicker and active than most people much younger to him.
So, the Christmas dinner. He would ask us for our plans in the new year. Without any hesitation, I would say, I wanted to be a better boy and be less of a troublemaker around the house. He would laugh at my resolutions.
I remember when I was a teenager, my New Year’s resolution was to study hard. When I was 16, it was to get admitted to a good college. When I was about to finish my college my resolution was to get a good job. When I had a job, my resolution was to get a higher salaried job. When I was in my 20s my resolution was to get fit etc. Whether I achieved them was altogether a different story!
If you have noticed, my resolutions were abstract and vague.
I presume most of us follow this pattern. We have grand visions for the new year. Some want to join a gym to get fit, some want to get a better job, some have the resolution of losing weight, many have resolution of having good relationship while others have resolution of getting getting a new job and so on.
One of the most sought after resolution for many of us is to get fit.
In my late 20s, I had the same desire; to get fit and build some muscle. I was skinny and wanted to build some muscles. I joined a gym thinking that I would be able to build some muscles. But you know what? I dreaded going to the gym just within few weeks of joining the gym. I would see a way through which I could escape going to the gym. I had paid entire year’s membership in advance in order to keep me motivated. But no, that did not help.
Did I lack motivation? Did I lack the environment within gym? No, none of this. Then what?
I did the same mistake that most of us do. You see, we think we will get fit and build muscle just by joining a gym. But that is far from the truth. By joining the gym, there won’t be a magical change in your mindset. You have to make concrete action plans.
What did I do?
I made a grand plan of for the year:
- 36,500 push ups a year
- Run or walk 1,825 kilometers a year
- Play 104 hours of badminton a year
- 9,125 lifts of 20 kg weights a year
- 73000 skips on the rope a year
Looks impossible when you see it at first. But when you have a second glance, you know what I did!
If you break down my plan, it is very simple and easy. If you divide each of the numbers above by 365, you will get the following:
- 100 push ups daily
- 5 kilometer walk/run daily
- 2 hours of badminton in a week
- Lift 20 kg weight, 25 times a day
- 200 skips on the rope daily.
This looks like a grand plan; doesn’t it?
By converting grand visions into numbers, and further making daily plans of the grand visions, anyone will be able to achieve their fitness goals.
Not only fitness, you are able to achieve any goals this way. For example, I have committed to writing more than 500 articles in the new year. Looks daunting, right. But that would mean, a daily rate of 1.36 articles. You want to get good at reading? Read at least 50 pages a day from a book. At the end of the year, you would have read more than 18000 pages; that is more than 40 mid sized books.
Amazing? Is it not?
Nothing is life is impossible. This is what I have learnt from my mentors and people I follow.
Have a grand vision and break it into chunks of small, achievable tasks.
There you have it: #1 secret to achieving your new year resolutions.