Resolutions can be divisive and I get that. I’m one of those admittedly annoying people that happens to love making a clear set of goals for myself at the start of each year. And while I won’t bore you with everything on my ’24 for ’24 List’ (some are as mundane as find a new dentist) I did want to share how I’m approaching them as a whole. Intentions and process rather than outcomes and shiny ‘afters’. As I look at the new year ahead I keep coming back to this phrase (from James Clear’s newsletter this week):
Think in decades, act in days.
When I consider the areas of my life where I’ve been met with any modicum of success thus far, it’s been because – without phrasing it as such – I’ve adopted this outlook.
– Personal Finances
All of it has been best served when I’ve had a long-term macro sense of where I wanted to be and then took small, measurable, daily actions in the interim towards those goals. I removed motivation and luck and divine intervention from the equation. It’s not fate that’s going to keep Adam and I together, or winning the lottery that’s going to stabilize my retirement, or some magic pill that’s going to help me stay in shape. It’s small acts, day by day.
In other, punchier, words: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Case in point – I’ve got several goals this year that this applies to perfectly. How do I publish a book someday? I write 1,000 words a week. How do I maintain my current strength/fitness? I wake-up at 6:15AM and exercise before work everyday, I add mileage to my running routine, I continue to be mindful to what I eat and drink. How do Adam and I plan for our financial future while also making the most of our current place in life as child-free newlyweds? We keep an active working budget that we review weekly and make joint decisions on new purchases/experiences along with savings/investments. It feels, if not easy, then simple.
In reality, I’m sure there will be days when this approach feels hard rather than frictionless, and I’m not talking about a year of relentless self improvement, but I do think that this simple phrase is a great guiding light for me personally as I look forward to 2024.
I leave you with another phrase that gave me pause this week (it’s a week of motivational phrases – I’m not sorry!)
If it’s not: making me happier, making me money, making me better – I’m not doing it.
Here’s to 2024 friends.
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