Why New Years Resolutions are BullSh*t
It’s that time of the year again.
It’s the time when everyone begins to think about what they want to change in their lives.
It’s the time when everyone makes New Years Resolutions.
Let me give you a suggestion before you decide to ponder how next year will be better than this one: Don’t Make New Years Resolutions. They won’t help you.
With New Years rapidly approaching, I’m expecting to see droves of posts on social media about the different New Years resolutions that everyone will have. It happens every year without fail and yet each year, I find that the same people I see making these resolutions never seem to accomplish the tasks that they set out to complete.
Personally, I think it’s a bit of a mindset problem and an inefficiency in the overall practice of accomplishing these goals.
What do I mean by this?
First of all, I think the act of making a New Years resolution is an old and tired method of trying to accomplish a goal. By waiting until the New Year, you throw away the time that you could take initiative.
It’s the waiting component that I have a primary issue with. It places you in a mindset of waiting around and pacing yourself for what you determine to be a prime opportunity or a position that makes the most sense. Ultimately, when it comes to goals, there is no optimal time to start doing something. The truth is that each and every moment is the optimal time to start something. When it comes down to it, if you have a goal or goals that you wish to accomplish, there’s no need to wait around to start tackling them.
Ultimately, the best time to start is now!
The second problem with New Years resolutions is that they aren’t well thought out. I’ve seen goals that range from “I want to start working out” to “I’d like to write a book”.
Do you see the problem with these kinds of goals?
They are extremely imprecise and insanely impractical. There is no true ending date and no efficient manner of execution.
I’m a huge advocate of setting SMART goals! It’s super simple yet in my opinion insanely practical. What exactly are SMART goals? For a goal that you have to be a SMART goal, they need to be:
Specific: You want to have a very clear objective of what it is that you wish to accomplish
Measurable: Whatever goal you have should have a means in which to measure progression. You don’t want to overgeneralize your goals to the point where any progress you’ve made is subjective. An example of this is saying, I want to be good at golf. What is good? How do we define it? How can an outsider determine if you’ve gotten good compared to where you are now? Be sure to have a means of measuring your progression.
Attainable: In order to have a goal worth striving for, you need to have a goal that you can actually do. Nothing will stifle your ability to succeed faster than being overly optimistic and aiming for an objective that cannot be reached or one that would require an insane amount of luck to acquire.
I consider time as a common and extremely important variable when determining whether something is attainable or not.
Use this example: If you’re 47 years old and you have a goal to be the starting shooting guard in the NBA for the Miami Heat, you should just give up that dream right now.
Sure, it might be possible if you have managed to stay extremely healthy, have a background in basketball that makes sense for the NBA and have an insane amount of talent mixed with a relentless work ethic that would give Kobe Bryant a run for his money. However, it’s far more likely that you don’t have all of those variables in place at the quantities required. If that’s the case, do as I mentioned earlier and give up now. Give up not because your goal lacks value but because it’s likely extremely unattainable based on your circumstances.
Relevant: Your goal needs to be relevant to and for you. Personally, I think the key to knowing whether a goal is relevant to you is to have self-awareness and understand what it is that you want as an individual. If you like playing video games 4 out of 7 days a week and hate talking to people, maybe being the owner of a Coaching business wouldn’t be the right fit for you. Perhaps you’d be much better suited investing time into a career that involves gaming or slightly parallels the appeal found in gaming. In order to determine what’s relevant, sit down and ask yourself why you want to do something.
Learn what it is that you wish to accomplish.
Timely: The key word for this step is when. When do you wish to accomplish this goal? In one month? In one year? Perhaps in one decade. Those are all fine timelines, but they need to be appropriate and specific. Also, they need to make sense relative to the goal and your starting point. For example, if you’re in very good shape and you’re sitting at 10% bodyfat and you want to make your way to 8% or 9% in 4 months, that seems very doable and realistic. However, if you’re 285lbs and you’ve never worked out a day in your life, the same 8% bodyfat goal in 4 months is virtually impossible for you and will likely prove to be disheartening.
Overall, the takeaway from this step is to have a deadline in place. You need to know where to cap off your goal so that you can make the necessary moves to get there. We tend to procrastinate and take as much time as needed to accomplish a task even if it can be done much soon. This is why it’s important to set deadlines. If your goal is to read 20 books, but you don’t specify when you’d like to accomplish that goal, you’ll likely never actually reach your goal because every day will become a day of procrastination. You need to give yourself a sense of urgency.
The last thing about New Year’s Resolutions that tends to trip people up is the lack of follow through. Having a goal written down and posted all around your house is fine and dandy but there’s one simple word that will determine if you can cross off items from your Resolution or is list as you head into the next year with the exact same resolutions as the previous year. That word is: Action. You need to take massive action in order to tackle those goals. You are the catalyst for your life and future. If something needs to be done, it’s important that you get in there and just get to it!
With all this being said, the main point that I’d like to make is: Don’t make New Year's resolutions. Make goals instead. Goals get accomplished. New Year's resolutions just get swept under the rug until the ending of the year where they get pushed out until the next year and never executed upon.