We are 15 days into the new year, which means that we are 15 days into our new year resolutions. Some people may have already fallen off the wagon, while others (me) are being hit constantly with “distractions”, and aren’t far from joining them.
You might think most of these distractions come from external sources (girlfriends, babies, work etc.), but its been the opposite experience for me. I’m most distracted by internal sources (me), in the form of “shiny new things”!
Just this morning, I was daydreaming, a typical prerequisite to distractions, and I had an amazing idea for a new website. I thought of an elaborate plan of how I could dominate this niche with this new site and I should get started quickly. Like a toddler, I temporarily discarded all of my goals for 2020 for this “shiny new thing”.
Thankfully I caught myself, and was able to refocus on my goals for the year.
This article is going to be a few tips (To: Myself) on how I can continue to avoid shiny new things and stay on the right track.
My Plan to Avoid Shiny New Things in 2020
1. Write S*** Down
Write the “shiny new thing” down. If it was that important you will come back to it later. Whether it be a business idea or a purchase, letting it “simmer” for a while could be a good thing.
I’ve been a pretty avid user of Evernote for the past few years, so I created a note that’s called ‘Shiny New Things’. This is where I plan to record my new ideas.
Writing things down also makes sure you don’t forget any of them.
2. Use the “shiny new thing” as motivation to finish your goals
If this “shiny new thing” is that amazing, then I should use the desire to get started as motivation to complete the goals that I’ve already committed to. Nothing (or no one) is making this an urgent decision, but me.
3. Happiness has to start somewhere
Remember that this shiny new thing will begin to dull soon. When it does, will it still make me happy then? Will I want to continue to work on it and see it through? Probably not. So I think I will stick with my current goals and see them through.
“It soon became clear that doing one thing better and better might be more satisfying than staying an amateur at many different things:” – Angela Duckworth, GRIT.
4. Progress Check
When you’re lucky enough to become aware of your distractions, use this as an opportunity to check the progress of your actual goals. If you want to act on the new “shiny new thing” see tip #3.
I’m fortunate to have this blog where I’m publicly held accountable to my goals. Therefore, its easier for me to circle back to goals because I wrote about them in a post.
5. Be intentional with the content that I consume:
Listening to podcasts can be an amazing way to digest new information, but many of my “shiny new things” stem from something I heard on a podcast. Which isn’t a bad thing… AT ALL.
I just think that at this stage in my life the purpose of consuming content is to solve a problem that I’m having with accomplishing my goals. If the content doesn’t do that then I should stay away from it.
Books have been a pretty good medium to consume new information because it is more of an “at your own pace temp”. I also have more control of the topics that I consume.
So there it is! Five tips that I’m going to use this year to avoid shiny new things.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.