Every year millions of people including myself make a list of goals that ultimately fall short. Resolutions are non-committal words we throw around to rationalize our hope for self-improvement.
An old stats professor once said that 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. That truth speaks to the hypocrisy we have created when making resolutions.
I myself have been susceptible to this trap. Making grandiose goals that I have yet to fulfill. I have become complacent with phrases like “should have” and “next year” only to use them again and again. Resolutions are just a cycle of misguided optimism that we ourselves create.
So, what gives? Do people like myself just lack the confidence and ambition needed to get things done? I say no. Ambition, confidence, and even ego are not the main problem. It’s the mindset, I like many have when talking about the future.
The future is simply uncertain, leading us to a dangerous thought process by overlooking the present. Life goes a mile a minute, challenging us with elements we can and cannot control. Bottom line: our goals are just possibilities, not realities.
Thus, if I truly want to be that person I envision every year, I will stop partaking in this culture of New Year’s resolutions. My goals won’t be lists. My approach to change will just be in doses.
From now on, everything I want to accomplish must have purpose. It must be a challenge within itself, a contract that will provide me with an immediate impact.
To start this process, I first must be brutally honest with myself. I know nothing yet. I’m a 23-year old who thought Googling, watching Youtube, or reading some article would influence me to cook, invest, and manage stress in 2018. But in the end, none of that helped. Ultimately, it came down to my lack of time and effort.
Fast forward to the present, my mind has been a jumble. As I figure out my next career move while navigating through the unpleasantries of adulting, all I want right now is to have a modicum control of my thoughts and sleep. This right here will be my building block.
How will I start? I must find something that gives me enjoyment and go from there. Take blogging for example, it’s something that has truly kept my thoughts afloat instead of lost in translation. A salvation that has kept me levelheaded.
Although sleep is not yet perfect, that is something I too can gradually fix. If I replace bad habits like browsing the web and social media at 10 P.M. with meditation or even reading a book, these changes could significantly improve the way I feel in the morning. If I can master this challenge, then I have completed my first step.
It’s 2019, I’m not saying don’t dream big. Dreams are sometimes all we got in life. But if we truly want to be effective, we must narrow down all our goals, promises, and wants into small plans of action. Sometimes smalls steps garner big results.
I believe that discovering what you can change right now and further creating that into a challenge will ultimately yield better results over writing or even verbalizing something on a list. Lists to me are dangerous because of that blank canvas.
Simply writing anything you want on a blank notepad, journal, or Word document is not practical. It has no real merit in guiding you to fulfilling that promise, goal, etc. Challenges in many ways are practical if you can build off them and create more.
That will ultimately keep us busy throughout the months leading to December and beyond. It will not only prevent us from being an 80% resolutioner, it will keep us active, engaged, and willing to do more than just procrastinate. Challenges in my opinion top New Year’s resolutions.
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