With the year winding down, I was curious to see how my colleagues approach New Year’s resolutions. Being that we are all rebels in our own ways, I had a feeling I knew where the conversation would go -- no one really bothers with them much.
But isn’t making goals vital to being efficient?
Of course it is! We just choose to make goals a little differently. See why we each forgo New Year’s resolutions and the goal-making tactics we prefer below.
I set goals for myself every day. I believe against making just one resolution and putting all of your energy towards that one area. Being a rebel is about conquering each day like it is the start of a brand new year! Naturally, we like to go easy on ourselves when working in such a competitive world, so I can see why people don’t stick to the promises they make themselves. Hold yourself just as accountable as you would at work, and kick yourself into gear!
I want to set myself up for success when I make lifestyle improvements, and everything about the New Year's resolution racket sets us up for failure:
- You tell people about your resolutions (getting social encouragement is good, but there's lots of research on how talking about your goals releases the same feel-good chemicals in your brain as actually achieving them)
- You hear lots of people talking about their resolutions, which for many of us makes us feel like we hould create resolutions... which yields reactive, guilt-induced resolutions, vs. proactive changes you make for yourself.
- Most people (like 70+%) have already failed at their resolutions by Week 3 of January. Who wants to be on a losing team?
- Predatory marketing practices, primarily in the weight loss and fitness industries, prey on well-meaning yet vulnerable people -- and, because of the three bullets above, it works.
Instead, I favor the 90-day destroy-to-create strategy. If you make new, healthier habits every 3 months, you're always going to get better and faster, and you don't need resolutions.
I don't generally make new year's resolutions either. I see the benefit in it, but I also see people make unrealistic resolutions (like when the gym is flooded January - March, then empty the rest of the year).
An interesting spin on a New Year's resolution they had me do at Strategic Coach was to write a handful of things that I wanted to happen the following year. The next December, they mailed us the list and it was surprising how many things on the list actually happened. Dan Sullivan always says, "Your eyes see and your ears hear what your brain is thinking," which I think subconsciously happens when you make goals.
I never make New Year’s resolutions. I understand the idea of a new year encouraging new beginnings, but it really is just another day, isn’t it? If there’s something you want to do, a goal you want to achieve, start working towards that now -- why wait? I have certain, specific things I would like to accomplish in 2016 -- I want to lessen my meat intake because of the impact it’s having on the environment -- but that’s a goal I had in mind in November, which is when I created a plan to achieve it.
I believe that because my goal is so specific, as is my motivation, I will be more likely to achieve it. A lot of people say they want to be healthier, but that’s quite a vague goal. Do you want to eat less takeout? Do you want to spend a certain amount of hours working out each week? Do you want to lose weight or build muscle? What is the exact thing you want to achieve? Then, start working toward it now.