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It’s that time of year when people ask what New Year Resolutions I’m setting. They’re shocked when I say I don’t set any. How could I not set any when I run a business? Well, I do something different.
One of the biggest issues I have with New Year Resolutions is that they don’t encourage people to change. Not really. They’re like these dreams that people would love to achieve by the end of the next year.
They’re like setting a financial budget and not following through with that budget. Sure, you look back at what you did in the previous year and you look at what you’d like to change, but that’s it. Do you really do anything after that? How many people give up on their resolutions by February?
Just a quick search tells me that 9% of Americans will complete their resolutions each year. So, what’s the point in setting them?
Why people fail at New Year Resolutions
The main reason people fail at their resolutions is because there isn’t a plan to actually achieve the goals. These resolutions are dreams. There are minimal targets to meet, and people tend to forget about them.
When I was a kid, I would set resolutions just because I was told it was the “thing to do.” People said I had to think of things that I wanted to improve on or change, so I wrote a list. Then I put that list to one side and that was it. What else was I meant to do? Nobody else seemed to do anything.
And most people don’t. That list becomes a list that is forgotten about. By February and March, people have become bogged down with work and life again. That feeling of wanting to change for the better has gone out of the window. Until some life event happens.
What I do instead of setting resolutions
So, I do something different. Instead of setting the New Year Resolutions, I opt to set goals for the future. I make sure there is a plan in place* to meet the goals that I set. I don’t do five-year goals—in life or business!—I opt for short-term goals instead. The only long-term goal I have is in my investments for the future, and those are pretty much set on a routine deposit that I don’t have to think too much about.
Anyway, back to what I do instead. Like with a budget, you can’t just set it and hope that you meet it. You have to actively work at your budget. You need to keep track throughout the month to see where your money is going and what you’re doing wrong or right to meet those financial goals. Well, you have to do that in life, too.
Let’s say I set a goal to lose 10lbs. Each day, I track my calorie input and output. I’ll track the activity that I do, and I’ll make a note of the type of food* I eat. Then each week, I’ll weigh myself. Each month, I’ll take my measurements with a tape to see if I’m toning as well as losing weight on the scales. This helps me see progress and reassess what I’m doing if I find that I’ve stalled. If I have a bad month, I can get back on track as I see what I did. If I have a good month, I can look back to see what I did and repeat it.
This is something that I do in all areas of my life. I don’t want to just set dreams. I want to set a goal to achieve everything. Does that mean I don’t have dreams? Not at all! There are things that I want to achieve. I just make sure I set a plan and work at that plan to achieve those dreams.
Do you set New Year Resolutions? What do you do instead? Share your thoughts in the comments below.