How to Achieve the Extraordinary in 2014

New Year’s is right around the corner. Sure you can get a fresh start on anything at any point, but the end of one year and the beginning of another over the winter solstice is so symbolic that it’s nearly impossible not to consider one’s life and what changes you’d like to make.

Around 40-45% of us admit to making actual “New Year’s resolutions” – commitments to stick to a lifestyle change in the new year, which usually includes dropping a bad habit cold turkey on the 1st. It’s not terribly surprising that only 8% of us who make such a commitment actually keep it.

It’s why I will be an elbow swing away from dozens of new faces in my gym classes come January, but everything will be back to normal by the end of February. If you’re going to set a cold turkey resolution, make sure you take the humorous stance of a social scientist, observing the power of habit over personal will.

I don’t set resolutions, but I do find the new year an invigorating opportunity to set some extraordinary goals that benefit from that boost of energy and excitement that comes from personal reflection and taking up a challenge. If you don’t get jazzed about the possibility, then it’s back to the drawing board.

Have you been reluctant to set an audacious goal?

A friend of mine who is embarking on a new chapter in her career shared this inspirational TED talk recently (Thanks, Tiffini!). If this doesn’t get you excited about what kind of waves you can make, it will at least bring a smile to your day:

 

In looking back over the past year, it’s been a year of learning and exploring my new career as well as living life now, rather than later. I started this blog last January and this is my 141st post. I explored a variety of business models and clients, discovering my niche. And I took my family on a month-long road trip. It was a fantastic year that has set the stage for focus in 2014.

By this time next year, I hope to have built a thriving community of mission-driven organizations that throw out the status quo and create unbelievable impact, which would include the completion of a high value day of training and throwing down the gauntlet in a unique challenge. I’m also aiming to pay off at least half of my remaining student loans and take an adults-only (and much shorter) road trip with my spouse.

What are you looking to accomplish?

2 Comments
  1. I’m similarly motivated for the new year. It’s a great chance to hit ‘restart’. My ambitious goal for 2014 is to workout 314 days out of the year (52 cheat days, one per week). My buddy and I set up a bet that we read about in Nudge. For every month that one of us does not meet the goal, we have to send money to the other one…to be used on hiking gear on our annual trip. The thought of losing money, and then to see our own money being used for the other’s enjoyment in front of us…I’m hoping that does the trick.

    Oh, and launching that financial coaching business. That, too. 🙂

    1. That IS an ambitious goal! If you get sick for 5 days solid, are those days forgiven or will you do glut exercises in bed? Great motivation experiment – you should blog about your progress each month, focused of course on financial gains and losses. Good luck!

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