I don’t appreciate New Year’s resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in trying to self-motivate, or that discipline isn’t important; because I do and it is always. I don’t necessarily appreciate New Year’s resolutions because waiting until the New Year to begin a change can set people up for failure in my opinion. We all want to improve and we’re all starting from different places, but why is the New Year THE time to do it? The point is that change can happen at any moment, not just the New Year and not always all at once.
Often times NY’s resolutions are accompanied by a renewed sense of willpower and determination. Yet if there is a person starting from a place of low willpower or unsure determination, they are simply setting themselves up for disappointment. They are beginning a new set of goals, all at once, with both absolute and obscure deadlines at the same time, and putting the pressure to succeed on themselves again without fully evaluating their potential for their ability to complete even one of their NY’s res. items.
The point is, starting on NY’s day isn’t what’s important, it’s simply starting that’s important. It doesn’t have to be NY’s day that you begin a new journey. You can stop whatever you’re doing right this second and begin working towards whatever it is you’re striving to achieve. We place so much emphasis on THE DAY we are set to begin working towards our goals that we cloud the idea that that moment could be the hour to set out.
Also, people place so much importance on a list of goals to accomplish. Now I’m not against listing your desires, but what we need to remind ourselves of connects back to the idea of willpower. Often times we forget that willpower is like a muscle that must be trained over time and built up. Setting up a date and time and myriad of goals to begin tackling is like putting someone in an octagon and telling them to fight with zero training.
The long and short of all of this is the idea that when setting objectives for yourself to achieve we must keep in mind three simple things:
- Don’t concern yourself with a date and time. If you want change, start immediately. You may never be truly ready, but that’s not the point.
- Tackle one goal at a time. Biting off more than you can chew can be physically and emotionally exhausting, leaving you feeling burnt out and right where you started.
- Combine these two and bear in mind your own willpower at all times. This is your key to success. Stick to 80/20 rule of sustaining your goal. Take healthy eating for example, plan your “bad” foods. If you’re eating five well planned out meals a day, plan for one to be looser than the rest. More relaxed so that you can remain sane as you continue to chip away at your goals.
Max Shank talks about the marble statue approach to goal setting. Which is where people view trying to accomplish their goals like carving a statue from marble. You would never begin a sculpture such as this with they eyelids or nose and your goals are much the same way. In order to be the most successful, it’s necessary to start with the big picture and work your way inward. Begin with trying to first get the shape of your goals and work your way deeper and deeper towards success. Sticking to these principles we can help ourselves navigate the route to success with greater willpower, ease, and long-term fortitude.