Daily life offers many opportunities to start anew. A new day, a new week, a new month. Perhaps the start of a new job, or setting a new goal.
None of these seem as enticing as the start of a new year.
Filled with promise and opportunities, the new year is a tantalizing time to set new goals. But it can be easy to go overboard.
A key to creating meaningful success and growth in the new year is understanding that you start out the same person you were when you fell asleep. Now a year stretches out in front of you, a year of steady improvement.
Making the best of this opportunity starts with understanding that you are not magically able to accomplish all of your goals in the new year. It will take a series of steps to reach what you hope to achieve. It is important to know your limitations in order to create a successful plan for self-improvement.
First, know your limitations
Of course, the first step to overcoming your limitations is knowing them. Luckily, this can happen with just a little intentional introspection.
Think about when you perform at your worst. What time of day is it? How have you eaten on that day? How did you sleep?
Are you better under deadlines, or with ample time ahead of you?
Consider a time when you fell short of a meaningful goal. What other factors were involved? What interfered with your success?
What prevents you from performing at peak? These are your limitations.
Second, know your strengths
The next step to overcoming your limitations is knowing your strengths. It is by leveraging these strengths that you will be able to persevere when your limitations threaten your goals.
Look again at the list you created above, and think about the times when you have performed at your best. Ask the same set of questions. What time of day is it? What was your self-talk like? How did you attack the situation?
What are the factors involved in your success?
These are the key tools you will rely on when your goals seem far away or unattainable.
Third, don’t let your limitations define you
What you have created now is, obviously, a list of strengths and weaknesses. It is all the tools you need to create a path to success in the year to come.
This list can act for you like a list of poisons and antidotes, or problems and solutions.
If you know that a lack of sleep leads to poor performance, you can plan for a better night’s sleep prior to important milestones. If you know that you work harder when you think others are watching, you can choose to work more in public places, especially as deadlines approach.
Finally, choose goals within your limitations
Once that you have thought deeply about your strengths and limitations, you can set goals that are attainable.
If you are a couch potato, perhaps a 5k is a better goal than a marathon. Not because you will never run a marathon, but because you need to learn the habits, and acquire the skills and tools of a runner. Only a small percentage of runners ever complete a marathon.
If you have never written a word since you left school, perhaps keeping a regular journal is a better goal than writing a book. Only a small percentage of writers ever complete a book.
Moderating your goal does not mean setting yourself up for failure. It means building the groundwork for future success.
Or perhaps you don’t know what is keeping you from being all that you can be. Perhaps your limitations are unknown to you.
That is when a therapist or psychologist can be helpful.
If you have further questions, or would like to set up an online consultation, please contact Sakina at SakinaIssa.com. She can walk you through the process to give you the tools to navigate your limitations and achieve your goals.