Test your new year’s resolutions in a pond, and you’ll be conquering the ocean in no time.
This year, interior decorating played a really important role in helping me overcome some seriously limiting traits in my personality.
I gave up on setting new years resolutions for life and instead I now decorate.
My biggest hurdle is I get more excited by identifying and strategising about new opportunities and not by finishing a project – in decorating and in life.
I’ll get to 90% and move on.
My solution was to (figuratively) hand cuff myself from doing what I loved…starting new projects.
I didn’t let myself start a single new decor project until I completed an existing one. No thrift shopping, no rearranging furniture, no helping friends with their decor styling.
It was suffocating. Exactly the motivation I needed to push me to become more disciplined and finish the countless unfinished projects around my apartment.
The ingredients to achieving my goals:
- Exercise the goal on a small-scale. I didn’t try to be more disciplined in all areas of my life at once, or even at work where it would be most ‘important’. Instead I chose to exercise my discipline on a hobby; decorating. This was a relatively easy ‘win’, that would give me the confidence to exercise my goal in other areas, later.
- Make it enjoyable. Ever noticed how as a kid you’d wash the dishes when you were left home alone, because you needed a clean dish or just ‘cos, but if mum asks you to do them it feels like the hardest things in the world?!? I’m more likely to lean into a diy project and take the first step because it’s something I actually want to do, not have to do.
This is totally counterintuitive, but the low stakes of my method meant I had no pressure (and excuses) to be able to follow through = I actually wanted to do it.
Once I developed the habit to be disciplined with DIY projects, muscle memory kicked in for other areas of my life. Momentum took over.
Inspiration is everywhere.
I watched the Social Network recently and I had a lightbulb moment.
Facebook didn’t intentionally become Facebook. It found its feet first on the grounds of elite American universities before conquering the public domain as a real product.
Same with Google. They used their search algorithm to help PhD students find the most cited doctoral papers, before exercising their product in the ocean.
I’m going to continue to use the same method for 2016 and I’m bloody excited!
I love envisioning things I can create. With my newly awakened skill of discipline, I now have the hunger to actually create, create, create! Not just dream, dream, dream.
It’s what I imagine you might feel like if you where in the 90s and wanted to create videos, but weren’t able to access video equipment (expensive, too technical).
Then boom…YouTube and the iPhone came around and the barriers were lowered. You’d probably want to create videos all the time!
I’m giving myself the best chance to succeed in this by first exercising my new years growth plans in my ‘decorating’ pond; then I’ll conquer the ocean.
What pond are you going to test your goals out in?