If you’re like a lot of New Year’s Resolutioners, by now you will probably have stalled, set aside, or just plain given up on your dream of becoming a new you.
This may be the first time this has happened for you, or the 15th of a long, long streak. The hard truth is that you need to re-think the New Year’s craze and actually do something that will have a lasting effect on your life.
The Pitfalls Of Resolutions
There is absolutely nothing wrong with determining a goal you would like to achieve and setting forth to do so.
A new year can be a wake up call for these goals and make us realize time passes us by.
There are dangers, though, with this type of goal setting.
- You haven’t thought it through. The new year is like an alarm clock, jolting us from the sleep that is our daily life of work, work, and more work. As such, you haven’t given yourself ample time to think through your goal.
- Your reasons are shallow. Since you haven’t thought about it much you lack the necessary connections to your emotions which you will need in order to achieve great things.
- The “mud” of the journey will defeat you. Since you lack passion for your goal the times times that will inevitably show will break you.
If It’s Important
A New Year’s resolution always leads me to wonder, “If the goal is important, why hasn’t it been there all along?”
Any random day can be the day you begin on the new you. The sooner the better.
Chris shared Gable’s coaching method with me:
“If it is important, do it every day. If it’s not important, don’t do it at all.”
You know, it’s hard to argue with this… but we all do anyway! I’ve spent the best part of the last three decades asking coaches from every discipline this question: “What are the three keys to winning in your sport?” I have yet to find a coach that can’t name the three. From “making free throws when tired” to simply “turn the right foot,” coach after coach after coach has had a clear vision of what it takes to win.
Dan John, The Gable Method
While this article by Dan John is centered around sports, the deeper lesson remains: If something is important enough for you, your striving towards it should be an everyday thing at least in some small way.
Re-Energize by Re-Orienting
If you’re going to use the new year to make a new you, keep it simple. Something like, “I’ll be better about taking out the trash when it’s full.”
Larger and more important goals? You should be striving for those already or planning out how you are going to strive for them.
Instead, use the new year “alarm clock” to do something a little different:
Re-Orient yourself with your own reasons for doing what you are doing.
To re-orient means to “find one’s position again in relation to one’s surroundings.” (Simple google search)
If you are like most, like I am, you set upon a certain path with certain reasons in mind hoping to achieve certain things. You go to work or school, save up money, and put in the hours needed to get things done. This repetitive motion of life can both lead us towards the goal or put us in a rut.
How do you re-orient?
- Try to remember the reasons for doing what you are doing. What was the reasoning process behind what you had chosen?
- Do those motivations mean the same to you now? Or is it time to change trajectories?
- How can I go about changing the direction if need be?
Re-orienting is a powerful tool because it connects your current reasons, emotions, and motivations to your current and lifelong goals. It does not introduce new and shallow goals merely to take part in conversation with coworkers.
The results of properly re-orienting yourself are extremely valuable.
- You become more conscious of your personal motivations, reasons, and overall personality.
- You re-energize yourself to continue doing the work you have been doing to achieve a goal.
- You gain the knowledge of whether or not to change what you are doing.
For most, resolutions are bogus. This is because they try to introduce some large and important goal without much punch behind it.
Instead, use the new year to wake yourself up to your reasoning behind what you are doing with your life. You have been walking a path, whether you like it or not. Take the time to use a landmark as an opportunity to refine your decisions, take a rest, make a plan, and head on your way with a smile on your face.