Another few hours to the new year! 2020 was an unprecedented year with its unique challenges, lessons, and opportunities. It is not a year we will forget. COVID19 is not yet behind us. The virus is mutating, and we are not clear about what that means for us. However, human-beings are optimists, evolve with time, survive the odds, and eventually learn to thrive. As you get ready to say goodbye to 2020, what are your reflections? Other than memories, what will you carry forward to the next year? Which of the habits, mindsets, and behaviors that you developed during 2020 will remain a part of you going forward? How are they impacting your new year’s resolutions?

Some of these new habits, e.g., wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance, were formed due to extrinsic motivation like fear, need for survival, fines!! Some were driven by intrinsic motivation, for example, the habit of meditation or breathing exercises, supporting those in need, focusing on what is in our control. There are a few where the motivation was a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, like looking for opportunities in challenges. Which one worked the best for you?

Sometimes we needed enablers to stay the course. Here are a few that I used-

  1. adjusted my goal to focus on what really mattered to me. From walking 5 km every day, I shifted to following exercise videos at home to manage my fitness.
  2. I also adjusted my focus (perspective) to meet my goal. Adopting face masks was tough. I felt they restricted my breathing. The videos of how they help spread the disease helped me to think of them as life saviors necessary to stay well.
  3. Writing my blog kept me in a state of flow and gave me a sense of achievement. Thinking of what to write about next was my optimal challenge!! Creating a schedule and associated rituals helped me meet my targets. Once I started writing, the momentum built and became a habit.
  4. I grew many new plants in my balcony to give an outlet to my creativity. A friend of mine cooked away to the delight of her family. You see, one size does not fit all! We needed different things to meet the same goal.

Of course, added to the above were two pillars of motivation –

– I was absolutely clear about ‘why’ I needed the new habits and behaviors.

– The pain associated with not adopting the new was greater than the pain of maintaining the status quo.

As you set your new year’s resolutions, I hope your reflections about what helped you stay the course (and what derailed you) will help you manage your motivation to meet your new goals. If you need help staying motivated, reach out at