1. Do less. A lot less. Wanting “more” is almost always a sign you feel you’re incapable of getting, having or keeping what it is you really want. Our desires are always simple. It’s our belief that we aren’t worthy of them that complicates things.
2. Write a letter to yourself from the grave. Do what you’d want to do if you were going to be dead in a year. Remind yourself of your mortality constantly. It will not depress you in the way you may fear – it will enliven you and ground you and make you grateful in a way nothing else can.
3. Forget goals that are measured. Forget about outcomes, focus on effort.Rather than saying “I want to write a book,” work on spending an hour each day actually writing it. Aspire to daily practices that gradually work you toward where you think you want to be. That is the only way you will actually get there.
4. Give up when something’s not working, or when you’ve stopped caring that much.Admit that you’re giving up. When we make ourselves conscious of how often we process losses and gains in our lives – often by our own volition! – they suddenly feel less like failures, and more like human nature.
5. Focus on the problems, not deflections from the problems. The resolutions you never seem to follow through with are deflections from the problem. So if your goal is always to change how you look physically, make your goal to feel loved regardless of how you look. If your goal is to find love, learn how to love yourself. Watch how seamlessly the former goals manifest once you’ve actually solved the problem.
6. Stop counting. Stop taking snapshots (I’m not talking about Instagram). Stop thinking that quantifying your life can replace the lack of quality in it. A number in the bank will not make you feel safe. A number of friends will not make you feel loved and happy. Stop looking at any given moment in your life and assuming it is the sum of you, and that it represents more than a transitory moment in your evolution.
7. Ask yourself how you can help someone you love achieve their goals for the year. Actually care, and actually have an active role in it. Make your world ever so slightly less about you.
8. If you’re going to change anything, change your daily routine piece by piece. The way you spend your days is the way you spend your life. Goals do not happen in sudden bursts, they are the compilation of hours and days and months and years of work. Start now.
9. Forget about finding the silver lining in your current circumstances – and start making it for yourself. If you put yourself in the mindset of “seeking happiness unconditionally,” you will always find it. No shift of circumstance will create that for you. People notoriously achieve fame and wealth and status only to fall to complete tragedy simply because they kept chasing ‘things’ to make them happy, and they eventually reached a dead end (sometimes more literally than not).
10. Change yourself the way you want to change the world. Take the advice you give other people. Do what you think the people who annoy you need to do. Watch and see whether or not the habits you despise in others are present in you. Do what you can, with what you have – you, and yourself.