Surprise, You’ve Already Failed At Your New Year’s Resolutions

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There is no time like the Holiday season, am I right? Actually, let me take a moment. 

🎄

Okay, moment over. Now where were we? Ah yes, I was about to tell you why New Year’s Resolution are useless and how you could successfully use goal-setting to actually make a difference in your life instead.

So let’s get back to it.👇

The Holidays are all about decadence. However, when the New Year rolls around, it is quite socially acceptable, and in some circles, expected, to have a few New Year’s Resolutions up your sleeve. Besides, there’s nothing like devouring cake and knocking back egg nog for an entire month to really give you that extra push toward making some changes come January. 

Whether you have just 1 resolution or whether you think 25 Resolutions is the bare minimum, the question is… Will you actually follow through?  🤔

– “Of course I will! … Wait a sec, I just need to creep my high school classmates on Facebook while I sip on my $8 latte. I’ll do it later…”

Phew, feels good to get that important stuff out of the way, doesn’t it? As for your resolutions, maybe you’ll get to it in February. Or March. Well, I suppose there’s always next year. Right? 😶

…Right.

Some of you out there may be gung-ho about your New Year’s Resolutions and stick to them religiously. That’s great, and this article is not meant to discourage you! Carry on, you awesome, self-disciplined, superhumans!  But for the rest of us that tend to stray on the lazy side (myself included), the infamous New Year’s Resolution tradition is not effective. We tend to procrastinate. 

– “Aww, man, procrastinating feels so good though”.

I hear you, there’s nothing better than watching 5 seasons of the Mindy Project in one sitting. 💻 🍿 Actually, I don’t hear you and I’m visibly procastiwriting a conversation between myself and no one. Case in point. Although procrastinating may feel good in the moment, in the long-term it leaves us kind of bummed out, lacking sense of direction and fulfilment.

New Year’s Resolutions do start off on the right foot though: Goal Setting. Where it goes astray is the “New Year’s” part. Why do we wait until New Year’s? As the once famous whoever once said, “there’s no time like the present”.

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If you’re going to change your life for the better, do it now. Right now, actively do something to help you achieve your goal.

For example: being healthier is a lifestyle. It’s not something you should do 10% of the time. It’s not something that should be done three months in the future or when you “feel like it” (or, by waiting until New Year’s). You may never feel like it. Being successful at setting and achieving goals simple. It requires a conscious decision or choice and then a series of actions that are coherent with that first decision. Yes, drastic lifestyle changes may come gradually, but there is no reason for someone not to take that first step in achieving their goals right now, today. Choosing January 1st as the date to change your life is completely arbitrary and in no way relevant to achieving your goals. In fact, it just fuels procrastination further and discourages progress.

And guess what? It doesn’t get easier. You won’t suddenly feel empowered on January 1st and feel as though you have the strength to push through. I’d argue that your peak motivation comes in that moment when you first think, “I want to make this lifestyle change”.

Now you’re ready to make the change, how can you set your goals up for success?

Make your goals “smart” –, that is to say

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

Touching base on all five of these elements will elevate your chances of success, follow-through and satisfaction.

Having specific and measurable goals means having a goal that is defined so that you can assess whether you have actually achieved it.  How can you ever feel like you’ve reached your goal if you forgot to set the goal post? You want to eat more veggies? If your goal isn’t measurable, chances are you’re going to feel like you’re failing from the outset and you will give up before the broccoli hits your lips. Define your goals, set out each step you plan on taking, and make sure you can identify whether you’ve accomplished a goal. 

– “Puuurrrrfect, I’ll lose 1 pound every day”. Yeah… not.

Having achievable and realistic goals is, obviously, essential to achieve your goals. Setting unrealistic goals is setting yourself up failure and you won’t be doing yourself any favours. You need to stay motivated. So, instead of setting yourself a drastic and/or epic out-of-this-world goal to try to impress your friends, keep it real – for now at least. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big – but, to ensure success, every step is a baby goal toward achieving your mamma goal. 

Make your goals time-based – if you don’t set a deadline, you’re probably going to slip into procrastination and the rest is ancient history. 🏛  Do something about it now, if you can, or  within a reasonable time limit. People often spend so much time worrying about the future and what to do to make it better, without actually doing anything. 👎  Setting time-limits will ensure productivity and avoid procrastination.

It obviously takes some serious determination to follow through with goals and resolutions.  So if you’re serious about doing something, then do it properly: set yourself a SMART goal as soon as you have the desire to make the change.  Don’t wait for January 1st, or your birthday, or even Monday, for the love of god. If not, why bother? 

Back to the Mindy Project. ✌️

– Kurt S.

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