Raise your hand if you have personally made new year’s resolutions you knew you weren’t going to keep?
If you raised your hand, congratulations, you’re probably in the majority. Apparently, it was the Babylonians who came up with the dumb idea of making New Year’s resolutions. It was in order to gain favor with the gods and start the new year on the right foot. While the Babylonian empire and people have since fallen and gone the way of the dinosaurs, we are stuck with this ridiculous tradition.
A New Year’s Resolution can be cute (i.e. getting engaged, falling in love, etc.) or can be serious (i.e. quit smoking, lose weight) but those are also called goals. Goals are defined as the “result or achievement toward which effort is directed.” One must put in the effort and work to achieving their goal. Here is the thing about people who make resolutions or goals: they are often shooting for the stars and not making reasonable or attainable goals.
There are certainly long-term and short-term goals. A long-term goal would be buying a house. That requires a ton of effort, work and of course money. A short-term goal would be reading three books in a month. That is a bit more attainable than buying a house in thirty days if you have none of the resources required to do so.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that people tend to make declaratory resolutions and goals about how they’re going to lose 50 pounds and have a sick body in 6 months. I hate to break it to you, but those two things are on total opposite ends of the fitness spectrum. Yes, you can work towards losing the weight, but having a sick body takes time, often years and requires laser focus and routine.
Attainable goal setting should be the new normal. Make real, reachable goals that serve as benchmarks or check marks that you can see actual progress in. It is okay to have long-term goals, but you need to set short-term goals/resolutions along the way to help you reach that long-term goal. Continuously, if you don’t have a game plan on how to achieve your long-term goal, the feelings of incompleteness, self-pity, etc. will continue to pile on and your long-term goal/resolution will be just a statement, an idea. It will never come to fruition.
This can all be solved if you start small and understand WHY you’re setting your goal. I read this great book called Start With Why written by Simon Sinek and it truly changed my life. The purpose of the book in relation to goal setting is understanding the purpose of your WHY. Why are you setting this goal? Why must you achieve this goal/resolution? The how and the what come after you understand your why.
I’m all for people wanting to better themselves, their families, their friends, but it should be realistic and attainable. Give yourself the opportunity to succeed by starting small, and prove to yourself that you can put in the work. Those small goals will feel like a cake walk and you’ll work towards bigger goals.
The only person you need to impress in this life is yourself. Everyone else is a spectator in the game of life.