“I’m going to complain less this year.”
“I’m going to work out more this year.”
“I’m going to learn more this year.”
“I’m going to lose weight this year.”
Statements like this are well-intentioned, but ultimately ill-informed. If you want create changes in your life, the first step is being clear about the changes you want to create.
There’s an old saying that warns “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
Point taken. Here’s an additional point: Even if any road will get you to your destination, you won’t be able to enjoy your arrival if you haven’t precisely defined what it means to arrive.
Instead of trying to get better in a general sense, identify specific behavioral changes that can be measured. Instead of trying to lose weight, try something like doing an exercise every day for 15 minutes or giving up one type of unhealthy food for a month. Instead of trying to learn more, try something like reading a new book every month or reading a new blog post every 3 days.
Whatever it is you want to achieve, go into the process knowing your aim. As a friend of mine once advised me, “the universe responds to specificity.” The same is true of your motivation.