Three hundred and sixty five days stretch ahead of you. How will you spend them? What will you do differently to make this year better than the last?
Of course, you might be among those who think a New Year’s resolution is just another whimsical holiday fantasy, about as realistic as Santa and his pal Rudolph. Maybe you’ve made the same resolution year after year (I’ll read more; I’ll conquer my fear of public speaking; I’ll stop biting my nails…) only to have completely abandoned your good intentions by Valentine’s Day.
The reason people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolutions isn’t neccesarily because they set unrealistic goals. It’s just that they didn’t take daily steps to accomplish those goals.
Goals are achieved by incorporating a new habit into your daily routine, and then sticking to that routine no matter what. Over time, incremental changes will occur, and by the time the year’s over, you’ve done it!
With that in mind, here are four small, totally feasible New Year’s resolution ideas (that are actually habits) that you can incorporate into your daily routine. Each requires just a few minutes out of your day, but the results are huge, and can have a major positive impact on your life.
1) Read 20 pages a day
Reading more books—particularly books on self-improvement, relationships, and entrepreneurship—is a valuable resolution for real estate agents to take on.
Instead of vaguely promising to read more books, take on this more specific challenge: pick a time of day (first thing in the morning, right before bed, etc.), pick up your book, and read 20 pages. Every day. This is how James Clear, an established writer on habit formation, manages to read 30 books a year!
2) Make 2 daily lists: Things you can and can’t control
If you want to focus on stress management in 2017, try the same strategy that accredited exercise physiologist Stuart McDonald uses. Every day, he writes two lists: stressors in his life he can control...and those that he can’t.
Stressors you can’t control might include a client’s illness, icy weather, or the current state of the housing market. By writing these down, you can acknowledge that there’s nothing you can do about these particular stressors, other than planning for them and adjusting the way you react to them.
Your list of stressors you can control might include the fact that you’re behind on client followups (put in some extra hours to get caught up!) or an incredibly rude and unreasonable client (dump ‘em!).
Distinguishing the things you can and can’t control will make your stress much more manageable.
3) Turn off electronics for 15 minutes each day
Let’s be honest with each other—at this very moment, your smartphone is either in your pocket or less than two feet away from you. Mine certainly is.
We’re always connected, always reachable, always available to be interrupted or distracted. It’s not always a bad thing. But there’s something very empowering about intentionally shutting off the iPhone or snapping shut the MacBook for a dedicated period of time.
“Going off the grid” for 15 minutes creates this blissful personal bubble of time—you know you won’t be interrupted, but you also know that the world isn’t going to end while you’re “off” because it’s only 15 minutes.
Try it. It feels good.
4) Speak slowly once a day
As a real estate agent, confidence is a valuable personal attribute. You can continue to nurture your self confidence in many ways, but I really like this suggestion offered by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.
Pick one meeting out of your day, and make a conscious effort to speak slowly. As Babauta puts it, “A person who feels that he isn’t worth listening to will speak quickly, because he doesn’t want to keep others waiting on something not worthy of listening to.”
Speak calmly and confidently, and soon you will begin to feel more confident.
What's your resolution for 2017?
There’s a whole new year ahead of us. How will you spend your days? How will you make this year better than the last? Perhaps you’ll incorporate one of the above habits into your daily routine...or maybe you have an idea of your own. (If so, we’d love for you to share it in the comments!)
Happy 2017. Let’s make it a good one.