Resolve Not, Just Do

At the risk of sounding somewhat Yodaesque, drop the resolutions and just do it. I know it sounds a lot like the Nike slogan but there a lot of wisdom in those words. There’s something appealing and yet self-deluding about New Year’s resolutions. Usually the guilt and frustration of just completing another year without achieving your goals, dreams or aspirations somehow morphs into believing that this year will be different for some reason and you will actually do it. It’s a bit like buying lottery tickets. You know someone will probably win the jackpot and you think to yourself “why can’t it be me?” I find resolutions fall into that category; the same one as wishful thinking and self-delusion. I’m certainly in favour of setting goals and pushing oneself to aim higher and achieve more, however the problem is that is usually does not work and you end up facing the same wall one year later and you’re another year older and perhaps no wiser – cliché intended. Before you think I’m running for the position of 2016 New Year’s Grinch, hear me out. In the coming year, what about applying a more realistic approach that may just work? Rather than setting yourself up for failure and disappointment try this – identify just one task or activity; skill to learn or something to stop doing at the beginning of each month. Select something that you believe you can realistically achieve over the next 30 days. It doesn’t even have to be a big deal, it’s actually probably better if it isn’t, just make it something that is positive, healthy, and moves you forward personally, professionally or relationally. Think about it, what if in 12 months from now you look back on the 12 things that improved, went away, got better or became easier. Wouldn’t that be pretty exciting and self-affirming? Those outcomes would also likely lead to more of the same in the next year. 2017 sounds like a long way off but it will be here in 12 months. Cut yourself some slack and be realistic with what you want to achieve over the next year. One thing achieved every month can launch you on the path to sustainable and fulfilling growth for the rest of your life. Really, it can.

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