Happy New You!! – Why New Year’s Resolutions Are For Suckers

Nov 1, 2012 by

Happy New You!

I find the traditional practice of making so called 'New Year's Resolutions' to be rather comical.

Most of the people I know who practice this tradition seem to have known for months what they want or need to change in their life, but evidently have been too weak or too dumb to start doing it right away; Instead they wait for the beginning of the year to announce their grand intentions to the world and thereby, I think, try to convince themselves that they will actually be successful with their new endeavors.

The problem here is that ANYONE is able to begin a thing...

It doesn't take much effort or conviction at all to declare "Starting on the first of the year I'm going to start working out consistently three times per week."

Therefore people just show up in droves on January 1, fully loaded with resolutions, running about all willy nilly beginning any number of great new things in their lives - but where does it all go? When people who've just 'resolved' to stop smoking cigarettes are sparking up a Newport before the last of the confetti has even settled to the ground, somehow there's a problem!

It says right here that anyone who can truthfully answer the question 'what the hell do I need to change about myself to improve my life, step up my game and just be better' already knows what their 'New Years resolution' is, or ought to be.

If you look right here, it further says that anyone who knows what they really want or need to change about themselves and is serious and committed to actually making those changes --- doesnt wait until the first of the year to get started!

Honestly, if I had an 'advice booth' and everyone came to me in advance with their resolution plans, I think  my advice might be a bit redundant:

"I need to start eating more healthy foods" - That's a great idea! What are you waiting for?

"I need to start saving more money" - That's a great idea! What are you waiting for?

"I need to lose a few extra pounds" - That's a great idea! What are you waiting for?

"I need to get in tip top shape for the summer" - That's a great idea! What are you waiting for?

"I need to stop my damned procrastinating" - That's a great idea! Let's talk about it tomorrow...

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.

Go out and get busy.

- Dale Carnegie

Don't be another sucker - there's a better way!

 

To hell with January 1st, today is November 1st - its the PERFECT time to make your resolutions!

In fact, to hell with November 1st, whatever date it is that you find yourself reading this is the absolute perfect time to begin making your resolutions a reality.

The beauty of doing it NOW instead of waiting until the 1st of the year is that instead of starting then, you can make that date the target of your goal, whatever it may be; let January 1 be your finish line instead of the starting point and give yourself even more reason to celebrate ringing in a new year!

You see, there's a critical flaw in the typical resolutions that people create for themselves on the first of the year - they often have a start date but no end date, no destination time frame for when their goal will actually be achieved.

One of the standard protocols for successfully setting, and perhaps more importantly achieving, your goals is that they must be S.M.A.R.T - many New Years resolutions are missing their 'T', if not all five of the following tenets.

Your goal must be something which is very well defined, for example:

Poor goal - 'I want to lose weight'

Better goal - 'I want to lose 20 lbs of fat and have a 32" waist size'.

You want to set your goals in as unambiguous a manner as possible. Remember, this is your ultimate target - if the target is ill defined, exactly how can you ever hope to reach it?

The ability to assign metrics and monitor the progress towards your goal is very important, because if you have no way to determine progress, how will you know whether you are on track to meet your objective?

This is key, you must be able to view whether or not your tactics are delivering the expected results on the expected time frame.

If your goal is to lose 20 lbs of fat by a certain date, you can take a body fat measurement as a starting point, and then measure it once per week to determine the status of your progress.

It does no good to create a goal which is just not possible. It would only serve to frustrate you and in the end you will quit.

If you're a 5 foot tall adult who sets a goal to become 6 foot four, this is an exercise which is just not going to end well for you.

Your goal should be something which can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time.

For example if you want to lose 150 lbs, you can have that as an overall goal, but you would not make a goal to lose 150 lbs in 3 weeks (or even three months!).

Instead you would break that overall goal up into smaller goals, let's say 'I will lose 25 lbs in 45 days'.

After achieving that goal, you would set another similar goal for yourself until your ultimate overall goal was finally accomplished.

This is one area where I think many resolutions fall flat.

Adding a deadline or element of time immediately creates a sense of urgency.

It helps to motivate and create action by forcing you to work 'against the clock' so to speak.

So now that you understand the basics of effective goal setting, you may see why I say NOW is the perfect time to set your New Year's resolutions - aside from the fact that NOW is always the best time to get started on making changes for the better, no matter when your now happens to be, the actual now as of the time I am publishing this is also a pretty good time in general, because you've got a full 60 days till the first of the year - there are many realistic, significant and lasting life changes which can be realized in 60 days.

But only if you're serious about it and not just blowing smoke up your own ass.

Let all the other perennial suckers sit around with their thumbs up their butts for the next two months while you are well on your way to a much better version of yourself; let them get started when you're finishing; let them flame out yet again well before Easter, while you are feeling empowered by your initial success and already well on your way to achieving your next targeted goals! 

I like to continually challenge myself in various ways throughout the year and as of now have just set a goal of being able to do at least 5 one armed pull-ups with each arm by the first of the year.

That's my right now New Year's resolution, what's yours?

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1 Comment

  1. Whew, what a paradigm shift! It is a cool idea to make January 1st a goal date. I’ve always started projects during various times of the year with an end date – but how cool is it to really have something personal to celebrate when the new year rolls in?! Awesome idea.

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