The New Day Resolution

I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions. They’re often broad, and we tend to forget about them as the years drag on. Think of how many people say they’re going to get fit, get a gym membership, and never go again once January is over. That’s a whole goldmine for the gym club industry because they know most people don’t follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. Whether you think that’s scummy, or just shrewd business, the fact is they’re right.

Despite that very controversial introduction, I’m not here to bring you down and tell you not to set goals. That would be silly, and harmful. Goals are important, they keep us motivated to work, and improve ourselves. What are we without goals?

I see the New Year’s resolution as a goal and a plan of action rolled into one. While you can always set and follow long term goals, it’s much more difficult to stick with a long term plan of action. You turn what could be a productive goal to better yourself in the coming year into a seemingly insurmountable task, and you open yourself up to discouragement, and ultimately you fail to set habits that will lead to you meeting your goal.

I prefer what I call the New Day resolution. Simply put, what actions can you take to make steps towards your goals for the year? You break your goal down into smaller, more achievable tasks that eventually add up to a greater whole. If you don’t meet your target one day it feels like less of a failure because you can always get up and try it again tomorrow instead of feeling like you’ve failed your challenge for the year.

There’s a great Chinese proverb I feel illustrates this idea perfectly: “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying small stones.” When you set a New Year’s resolution, you’re trying to move the mountain all at once and setting yourself up to fail. But if you wake up every day, and set out to move the mountain stone-by-stone you will be amazed at what you will accomplish.

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