New Year’s resolutions suck. Don’t make them this year.
No matter how much your 1% bodyfat running fanatic Facebook friend makes you feel guilty for the Dorito crumbs in your bra when you’re reading one of her 20 daily posts, don’t do it.
Resolutions usually come from a guilty little place.
They come from that place inside of you that thinks you’re not fit enough, social enough, rich enough, happy enough, interesting enough, doing enough, or being enough, and so you pen yourself a list like this every year:
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS 2012:
- Get fit
- Learn Italian
- Get a raise
- Cook more
- Find out why cat hairs end up in my bum
- Get a boyfriend
At the very least, the traditional New Year’s resolution tends to indicate happiness is outside your current reach and you’ll be happier when you do/be/get something else.
So. I propose a slightly different idea.
It’s not that I don’t like self improvement, or making lists. In fact, I like both.
Especially lists about self improvement, so here we go.
It’s just a little more specific, a little more frightening, and a lot more likely to be successful and make you feel good afterward.
LET’S MAKE A GOAL.
DO SOMETHING SCARY THIS NEW YEAR
1. Identify some key values
Family. Friendship. Learning. Creativity. Fitness. Travel. Pick ONE area that’s already really important to you and makes you feel awesome.
2. Make a goal
And make it concrete. What does rocking that goal look like? Make it tangible. “Get fit” is really vague. “Do 20 Turkish Getups without crying” is more concrete.
3. Make it a priority
Why do people stop going to the gym when they resolved to get fit? Not just because “get fit” is vague and easy to give up on, but because it’s obviously not a priority. People with a priority will put it above other amazing short-term things like staying in bed when their body hurts, or not getting in front of a crowd when it makes them want to poop. Make your goal more important. When you have a choice, choose in the direction of your goal.
4. Tell other people
Talk about your goal. Better yet, get a buddy. A loudmouth, preferably. Sharing your goal helps make you more accountable for following through with it.
5. Visualize it
Fuck yeah! You’re standing on Machu Picchu high-fiving your sherpa right as someone takes an award winning picture of you for LIFE magazine! Visualize as many details as you can. Feel what it feels like when you’re kicking ass at your goal. Some people put up post-its around their house or do daily affirmations to keep them reminded. Do it.
6. Be positive
No, not like The Secret. I believe in the power of having a good attitude (and a good sense of humour along with it). You’ll be amazed at who and what comes into your life when you change your outlook and your energy to the positive.
7. Pick the right friends
Surround yourself with people who have already done your goal. Spend less time with people who are negative, judgmental, passive aggressive, disinterested, unexcited, not understanding, or not supportive of what means a lot to you. Not everyone is going to understand what you’re doing.
8. Encourage others
Be that awesome friend for someone else. I don’t care if you’re a staunch realist. Be excited for friends who are working toward their goals and dreams.
9. Be flexible
Overplanning how you’re going to get to your goal isn’t good. Whether you want to climb a mountain, buy a house, or get a new job, your journey there will take some twists and turns and it will look different than you thought it would. Go with it. Like that old proverb says, palm trees bend in a storm and the stiff trees don’t and break, or something.
10. Be brave
Cultivate an adventurous spirit. Really awesome goals, the big ones we really need and want in our lives, are often scary, challenging, unrealistic, and unreachable if we just stay the way we are and do what we always do. That makes them so exciting! It doesn’t mean you have to not be you. But be a little daring. Dare to get outside your comfort zone and grow this year. We already established this goal is something you really deeply value. So if you need to sell all your stuff, do it. If you need to shit your pants in Toastmasters, do it. If you need to fight through mornings at the gym, do it.
6 months + of travel. I want to volunteer at Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, and see New Zealand too.
…I think I pooped.
HAPPY NEW YEAR F@%KERS!!!