Note: this line of thought is still work in progress
This year, my new year’s list will not be a list of resolutions. Instead, it will be a list of small units of improvements that will better my personal and business life.
I jumped on the new-year-resolution bandwagon a couple years ago. My inaugural list was quite ambitious: get x SAT scores, be healthy, get into varsity tennis, get As and A-s in all my classes, raise x amount of money for my nonprofit venture, get into music school, etc. I don’t think I reached half of my resolutions. It was not because I did not try hard. It was because I had too many (vague) goals, was overly ambitious, and did not think enough about what I had to do to reach them.
Thus, for this year, I will only have a list of actions that will propel me towards a better business and personal life . For example, instead of being extremely specific and saying that I need to obtain x GMAT score, I am going to say, “I am going to effectively practice the GMAT for two hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and here is my plan detailing the specific material I need to grasp each session”. The focus should be on how to do well on the GMAT and not the fact that I have to do well and achieve x score. The ultimate results become causal to the actions I take, though the proportions of causality may differ depending on external factors.
Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Never Eat Alone, describes these actions as needle as movers in his blog and believes that they are the key to success. While I do agree with needle movers are crucial, I also believe that we need concrete goals or at least a sorta-specific direction for which we are working towards. The goals do not need to be extremely specific, but the overall direction is needed so that needle movers do not become too out-of-focus and so that we can measure our progress later. Action steps that make up the directions/goals of our improvement is what I believe to be the winning recipe for self-growth.