New Year’s Energy
New Year’s Energy is magical. But, as we all know, it vanishes within a few days or weeks of New Year’s Day. How can we keep it going throughout the year?
Well, what is it that makes New Year’s Day so exciting? It’s a new start. It’s the beginning of a period, 365 days, that is short enough to be planned, but long enough to make substantial progress. So it’s easy and natural to think of meaningful changes you can make in this clearly defined time period. “I will lose twenty pounds this year.” “I will run a marathon by the end of the year.”
To get more of this new start energy in your life, what if you simply nested smaller time periods within the year? It’s common at companies and in the self improvement world to set quarterly goals with monthly checkpoints and do quarterly reviews. You might have a goal to lose 15 pounds in the first quarter of 2021, and a sub-goal to lose 5 pounds by the end of January, 10 pounds by the end of February, and finally 15 pounds by the end of March. Here’s a great piece detailing a technique of nesting plan-and-review cycles from the annual all the way down to they daily.
If nothing else, setting goals for the year and sub-goals for each quarter will give you four motivation waves instead of only one. But it will likely lead to a more consistent sense of progress throughout the year, and that’s what’s important.