The best marathon running advice you’ll ever get is “Start Slow, Finish Fast.” Lots of people don’t heed this advice. They start out with a goal, and run hard.
Starting out fast feels good. In the first mile their legs are fresh, their energy is high, and they’re exhilarated to be working towards a goal. Then the second mile hits, and they’re already struggling to catch their breath. In the third mile their legs feel like Jello, and each step requires willpower to keep moving. All the fun and excitement is gone.
New Year’s Resolutions are no different. They’re initiated with excitement and commitment, but if you take on too much too soon they aren’t achievable.
Small Steps, Consistent Effort
You can’t achieve a year-long goal in a month, but that’s what many people try to do. They join a gym, start a diet, improve their communication skills, or whatever their goal might be, and then they try to achieve the whole thing in January.
The operative word in New Year’s Resolution is “year.” You’ve got a year to work towards your goal, and a year to instill the necessary habits to achieve it.
A year is a marathon—52 weeks to make your Resolution a reality. Break it down:
- Small steps
- Consistent effort
If you’re serious about achieving your Resolutions this year, break them down into small steps that you can consistently execute every week. That’s it.
There are lots of time management and productivity systems available. Use whatever works best for you. I combined David Allen’s Getting Things Done approach with Seth Godin’s Pick Four books to create my own system.
Each of my Resolutions are executed on a weekly list. On Sunday afternoons I plot out the actions I need to complete through the week that will move my Resolutions forward.
I never leave it to chance. If I don’t push the actions every week, then it’s very easy for me to fall off the pace and derail my progress towards my Resolutions.
Start Slow, Finish Fast
This year is different. This year is your year to follow through and achieve all of your Resolutions.
Take the runners’ advice, “Start Slow, Finish Fast.” By the end of the year, you’ll be sprinting.
Happy New Year! I wish you many successes in the year ahead.