What makes each little box on the calendar different from the one beside it? Is it the order it comes in the week? Isn’t there always one before and one after it? What about each day; one day came before and one day comes after? So why is January 1st our best day for new beginnings?
As much as I am waving my foam finger for goal setting, one of the first rules to be successful is that the goal setter must want it and be committed to it. If you decide in December you have a goal but it can wait until January, you don’t want it enough. If you come up with an idea on January 1st because it is January 1st, you don’t want it enough. If you set the same resolution every year, you don’t want it enough.
If you don’t want it, you won’t do it.
So what do you want?
The resolutions I often hear make me realise that few people had to sit through four years worth of goal setting education (I love my Kinesiology degree I promise!) or else we have a lot of rule breakers. So, you want to be more fit. Great let me know when you get there. Oh right, it isn’t measurable. It is also subjective, general, and there is no defined timeline. Maybe the biggest issues with resolutions is just that we need more education on goal setting. I think we set generic goals so we can have a new topic for small talk with co-workers for a few weeks.
I also think by titling something a New Years Resolution, you are destined to fail. You have tied your goal to the connotation that you can carelessly shrug it off in three weeks because it was “only” a New Years resolution. It is like a new toy that gets less shiny and is just plain old boring “this year” before you know it. Few people will follow up with your progress past the end of the month so that you won’t inquire in return what their (lack of) progress is.
If the purpose of your goal setting is because it is a new calendar year then don’t set a goal because you don’t have a reason. Wait until you have a desire, a cause, an internal motivation, or something to propel you besides a lame excuse for a night of boozing.
When I was little, I once decided that my resolution was to not eat pie all year. I remember people laughing and re-telling me this as I grew up. I clearly misunderstood the objective of setting a goal, particularly because I didn’t like pie, but now it seems even funnier to me. I really think that this resolution was as invaluable as what the majority of the population sets. At least I followed through on mine!
This post is not meant to discourage goals in any way, all I want to express is that it needs to have a significance that overrides a date. There is no perfect time to start something good for yourself- you will always be busy, and you will always have distractions. That is something we all need to navigate once we prioritize our seemingly endless list of to-dos.
You can only begin once you know where you want to go.
The other 364 days of the year will be good to you, I promise.