Sorry to say, your New Year’s resolution won’t work | Inquirer Business

Sorry to say, your New Year’s resolution won’t work

/ 02:12 AM December 04, 2022
New Year's resolution

ILLUSTRATION BY RUTH MACAPAGAL

Are you having a hard time sticking to your discipline once you have listed your New Year’s resolution? Are you the one who likes to put things off until the year changes? I have three tips for you to become productive this Christmas season without waiting for 2022 to end.

And here is the brutal truth, New Year’s resolution does not work because it lacks focus. How would you be able to accomplish five to 10 major things in a year? Sometimes, that list ranges from saving a certain amount of money to losing a certain weight to becoming a vlogger and opening an online store all at the same time. That is an exhausting and daunting work, and human nature tends to avoid what is difficult.

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1-percent progress a day improves your life every day

Are you a firm believer of overnight success? Do you wish to eradicate all your debt one day? Sad to say, life is not an overnight success. There is also no one-time big-time jackpot thing. Everyday, we are given a chance to improve our life in any aspect—health, finances, careers and so many others. Also, every day is another day to continue doing the things that are detrimental to us. Think of your recent bad habit, let’s say compulsive buying. Your credit card debt did not balloon in an unmanageable amount in a day; it all started from a small amount, growing and piling up and causing you trouble to pay all your debt. Having a 1-percent action that’s detrimental to your financial well-being does not affect us as much as 1-percent improvement of our financial well-being.

Saving a few hundred to thousand pesos every day will not help us reach our first million, but compounded over time, that specific habit has a tremendous result. Eating unhealthy food for a day does not show any impact right away; neither does eating healthy meals for a day. However, maintaining that habit for a year can spell the difference between a healthy person and one who is not.

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Having a hard time starting a habit?

It is very hard to start a good habit as we have been wired to follow a daily routine. However, we can start a new habit easier with these three things in mind: visibility, environment and rewards. If you want to start a habit of reading a book, do not wait until next year. Believe me, it will not work. Instead, make the book visible and part of your routine. If you spend most of your time working at an office table, place a book where it is visible to you and create a conducive environment. If reading a book is easier in a quiet place or with music playing in the background, then do it.

Do not perform a habit in a place where you struggle; we tend to avoid what is hard to do. Of course, after performing a habit, reward yourself. If playing one or two short games or watching Netflix satisfies you after working hard toward your good habit, then do it, as long as the rewarding habit is not detrimental to other aspects of your life. Another example is getting fit. First, make your gym outfit visible to you, so you will be reminded of how many times a week you should work out. Then, sign up with the nearest gym. And lastly, reward yourself. Human brain is wired to repeat the preceding act if the reward is instantaneous and satisfying. Conversely, it avoids the preceding act if the punishment is also instantaneous and undesirable.

Learn high-income skill

Most of us have been hit by the recent pandemic in one way or the other. It is depressing to lose a job or income because of things that we cannot control. To know which skills create high income, you need to ask yourself three questions. Can your skills be used in multiple industries? Are your skills not dependent on any event or location? And are there barriers to the use of these skills?

Pilots were heavily impacted by the pandemic since they could not just transfer from one industry (travel) to another. Online selling has a low barrier to entry. Anyone can set up their phone cameras and sell something online. That is why only a few online sellers have thrived.

Computer programming is a high-income skill, since the programmer can work in travel industry or banking without much difference. A stock trader can make money out of different markets and does not restrict his income to a certain event or location. And public speaking has a high barrier to entry because aside from requiring experience and credibility, most people are afraid of speaking in front of a large audience.

Here is a bonus tip for you to transform your productivity to a whole new level. Decide today on the skill that you want to master (If it is aligned with the tips that I have given, much better). Then, think of how you can improve that skill by 1 percent every day, and incorporate that to become your habit. For example, if you aspire to become a professional graphic artist, you can start by improving your output every day by creating at least one layout every night before you sleep. Or if you want to close more sales in the insurance industry, then every day, you need to meet with at least one prospect in a local coffee shop, if you love coffee and want to incorporate the reward of having coffee while meeting with a prospective client. —CONTRIBUTED

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