Find internal solutions to external issues in the New Year | Sunday Observer

Find internal solutions to external issues in the New Year

3 January, 2021

Last year was one of the most uncertain years and you had a fair share of challenges. Majority struggled but a very few had greater success with Covid-19 bringing about new opportunities in the IT, Telecommunication and health sectors. Some lost jobs and many had to suffer revenue cuts. Hope of an effective vaccine is everyone’s priority – let’s hope that we will be lucky. 

While we expect this year to be  better, chances are that it can be even worse. Businesses and people who had savings and reserves may have depleted some or all with income getting impacted due to Covid-19. So you have got to earn to make it a better year.

Reality is that this year will be fiercely competitive with everyone trying to use learning from last year and adjusting to the changed environment. You will encounter more aggressive application, extreme determination and cut throat competition for survival in the New Year. For all these external issues – the solutions lie within you – finding internal solutions to external issues is the way to go.  

Past practice dictates that every year, you should try to kick bad habits away and start your life anew for better performance. What kind of New Year Resolutions will you make for yourself for this New Year if you haven’t already made them? All I know for sure is that you resolve to improve every year on a day such as January 1. It almost seems like we can start all over, finally become that successful, wonderful, productive, healthy, happy person we’ve always wanted to be. However, the problem with the start of a new year is that most good intentions often derail within a few days or weeks. 

 Change to challenge 

 The trouble is, the enthusiasm to make changes fade when we realise we can’t change everything overnight or it takes a hard effort to realise them. If you wish to make lasting changes, there are three things you can do to make your resolutions work all year long: Correct your attitude, embrace the right lifestyle and be committed to achieving the resolution. Why do people abandon their resolutions halfway?

One reason is that we become discouraged when results don’t come quickly enough or easily, or when we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them. Behavioural change needs sustained effort and commitment. It is also typically accompanied by physical and mental discomfort. Examples: Reducing food, working or studying longer hours and sleeping less from a level to which you have become accustomed to.

 What does this mean? How do you measure this? Resolutions also fail because they are vague and impossible to measure. One could resolve to be a nicer person, but what does that mean? How would anyone know when and whether that goal had been reached?

A better resolution would be to pay a compliment to one person each day. Make a goal that can be reached in one year. This guideline is especially important for gifted children, who have quite lofty goals, often beyond what they could achieve in one year. Of course, if a child goes beyond a goal in less than one year, that’s fine. The idea is just to make sure the goal set is not impossible to reach. 

Don’t stagnate

As the challenges get intense, writing down the New Year resolution and the plans to make it happen is important because it helps you remain focused and will serve as a reminder of the resolution – mind you the challenges are severely more complex than before. Your competitiveness was tested in 2020. So do a self-audit to understand where you need critical improvement.

It also makes the plan more formal and aligned, not just a passing thought on New Year’s Day. Creating a plan and writing it down can help understand how to set goals and find ways to reach them. Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. When it comes to enjoying life, look at the alternatives to choose the ones that have more positives and not activities that have more negatives than positives 

Though the environment will be tougher, there will always be new opportunities that you didn’t see earlier. Stay positive and look for these new opportunities to make new moves if they make more sense. Calculated risks might help you rather than being stagnated. 

Above all, aim for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you. After all it’s your life, your vision, your goal, your effort and your success that’s primary. It’s not being selfish but accepting the reality that if you fail you cannot help others. Be determined to be successful.

Stay safe.