I don’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s Resolution (let alone stick to it). But I read this amazing article by Jeff Haden and thought “Why not make these my New Year’s Resolutions?” MS Dhoni's retirement from test matches has left me with a certain hollowness. I want to be more like him - a composed, intelligent, humble and genuine human being driven by a larger purpose in life. These 10 resolutions should be a good place to start.
- No waiting until I am convinced I will succeedPeople close to me know that I have been wanting to embark on a project since 2011. Fear (and sheer laziness) have helped me make excuses for 3 years (4 now, since it’s 2015 already). This year, the project will see the light of day. And I will do whatever I’m capable of to make it succeed. If I don’t find time, I will make it.
- No being distracted by notificationsIn 2015, schedules will be adhered to… diligently. No more peeking into Facebook or glancing through emails or Whatsapp during those times. As I write this article, the SelfControl app has already been put to work, blocking my access to Facebook, Twitter and Quora. You will see me less on Facebook and taking more time to respond to emails and Whatsapp messages. There, you have been informed.
- No blaming others - for anythingThere is a amazing quote on social media - “You cannot build your house on someone else’s property.” This means that people must not rely on others’ platforms to succeed in their online strategies. I think the same holds true for life. This year, whatever happens, I will refrain from saying “I didn’t get what I wanted because of [name].” If I want something, I will do what it takes to get it. The onus is on me, not anyone else. No more blame games. But no attempts to sabotage someone’s spotlight either. Credit will be given wherever it’s due.
image Courtesy: Mark Teasdale/Flickr
- No checking of my phone while talking to someoneI’ll try something even harder. I won’t pull my phone out when I am with someone. Even if I do, it will lie silently in a corner, so that I can give the person in front of me the respect s/he deserves. I will bring conversations back to being with people in front of me rather than being with those who are not.
- No multitaskingI suck at multitasking. And it looks like people around are getting even better at it. However, their boats barely move forward. Maybe because we are paddling to move forward, to the left, towards Northeast and Southwest at the same time (I didn’t say NorthWest because you would start talking about Kim Kardashian’s baby). Research shows that multitasking reduces our productivity by up to 50%. So I’ll follow Steve Jobs’ saying “Being busy doesn’t count. What counts is what you are doing to stay busy.” Goodbye multitasking. Hello productivity.
- No interruptingI've got into the stinkingly bad habit of interrupting people while they speak. I was proud of being an astute listener, but my ego is getting the better of me. In 2015, I will genuinely listen to people without thinking about responding. Once the person finishes her statement, I’ll take a few seconds to frame what I want to say (or ask). And if the person starts speaking in the interim, I’ll start listening again. And if we are talking and I interrupt you, please point it out.
- No whiningI’m responsible for my future. Even if I want to wallow in self-pity, I’ll take a leaf out of Jennifer Anniston’s book. The “Why Me” syndrome and brooding will last 1 evening. The next morning, the focus will return to fixing things.
- No relinquishing control to the pastWhat’s gone is gone. Nothing can be done about it. I have committed some blunders. Maybe they will come back to haunt me, maybe they won’t. But they won’t decide where I go from here. Each new day is an opportunity to start afresh. I will treat it as one.
- No wasting time on people and things that don't matter
Less time watching TV, reading Times of India (ToI-let paper) and other mainstream papers, browsing Facebook and meeting people who believe that the universe is conspiring against them (this includes AAP supporters). More time helping people and sharpening 3 skills which I believe will pay off in the future - communication, music and ‘getting things f**king done’.
- No talking behind another person's back
“If it’s not your place to talk to someone about what they’ve done, it’s definitely not your place to talk about them.” I’ve been part of bitchy gossip; hell, I’ve even initiated some of them! This year, the only things that I will say about people behind their backs is how awesome they are. If I have to say something unpleasant, it either will be on the person’s face or won’t come out at all.
So there they are. My New Year’s Resolutions for 2015. I’m going to periodically track how I’m doing on each of them.
Your turn. What are your resolutions? I would love to hear from you.