Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Embrace change: Make better choices in 2024

As we step into 2024, the future remains uncertain, but one thing is for sure: your life will continue to unfold. The direction it takes, however, is entirely up to you.

The Question is: Do you wish to remain unchanged, just like most individuals, or do you want to end the year feeling empowered and closer to your full potential?

New Year’s resolutions are a common practice, where people commit to achieving personal goals. We look ahead to the New Year with hope and imagine the possibilities.

Yet, by mid-February, most resolutions have been abandoned. Numerous reasons (or should we say excuses) contribute to this failure. The primary reason is setting unrealistic goals, like losing 40 kgs by December 31st, reading a book a month, or walking 10,000 steps per day. Such resolutions demand a significant change in behavior, which poses a considerable challenge for most individuals. It’s far easier to stick with familiar habits, beliefs, and behaviors.

But when was the last time you questioned your beliefs? Remaining within your comfort zone seems more appealing than adopting new behaviors, even though you know they would benefit you.

The key to achieving your goals lies in considering them holistically. Rather than viewing goals as distant destinations, imagine them as a series of choices you need to make to reach them

“Life is the sum of all your choices,” says Albert Camus, French philosopher. Take, for instance, a financial goal of saving USD 7,500 next year. Think about the behaviors you must change to achieve this goal, with the most significant change being your spending habits. Altering your spending habits entails adopting new behaviors, such as declining invitations for a night out with friends, resisting marketing tactics, avoiding a showy lifestyle, setting up automatic monthly savings withdrawals, and even embracing the tried and true practice of bringing your own lunch to work and making your coffee at home.

You probably know people, be it friends or family, who claim to want XYZ but act in ways that contradict their desires. This is particularly evident when it comes to money and health. How many of us have encountered someone who constantly complains about being broke while indulging in consumerism? Or those who express a desire to be healthier but treat their bodies like garbage disposals?

To achieve a goal, you must consciously choose the actions that will lead you there. If your aim is a promotion in 2024, you need to strengthen your relationship with your boss and their superiors, stay informed by reading industry magazines, pursue relevant courses, network with influential figures in your field, and establish a personal brand as someone who gets things done.

All these activities require a change in behavior—choosing actions that support your goals rather than spending hours binge-watching Netflix, complaining with friends over beers, or mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds.

Undoubtedly, the choices you make determine the course of your life. From what you eat to who you associate with, what you read, and what you consume mentally, every choice carries consequences. However, many people fail to recognize the gravity of their choices and decisions. Start pondering the implications of your choices, and you will witness a radical transformation in your life.

Whenever you encounter someone dissatisfied with their life, it can usually be traced back to their poor choices—choices they have made and perhaps continue to make.

Making better choices becomes easier when you maintain a laser-like focus on your goals or objectives. Beginning by listing your top three goals for 2024, better yet, placing visual reminders of these goals where you will see them daily, will guide you towards making better choices.

Further, each morning, ask yourself what you can do that day to bring you closer to your top three goals. Your answer will serve as a compass, guiding you to make choices that support your aspirations, saying “Yes” to the right things and “No” to the wrong ones.

Every evening, reflect on whether you have kept the promises you made to yourself. Did you achieve your daily steps target? Did you bring your lunch to work? Did you read 15-20 pages of the book you are currently engrossed in?

By implementing these practices, you will make better choices, and inevitably, your life will transform. I guarantee that if you do nothing else in the upcoming year but question your choices, your life will take a new and exciting direction.

Rather than making empty New Year’s resolutions for 2024, commit to making better choices that align with your goals. True change arises from better choices, new actions, and the formation of empowering habits.

(Nick Kossovan is a self-described connoisseur of human psychology, writes about what’s on his mind from Toronto. You can follow Nick on Twitter and Instagram @NKossovan)

Contributed by Nick Kossovan

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