New Year’s Resolutions are stupid. There, I said it. And I’m not backing down. They’re dumb and if you make them, you’re probably dumb too. I don’t mean to suggest that making better choices; life altering choices is a stupid idea but rather that if you’re over the age of say….12….you should know better. New Year’s Resolutions sell magazines and diet books. We think about them for about a week before Christmas and about two weeks after New Year’s. They’re dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. And here’s why.
They don’t work. Ok. Occasionally they work, but not because they’re a New Year’s Resolution. Occasionally they work because someone was ready to make a change in their life and they did and it all worked out. Great. But it has nothing to do with a New Year’s Resolution. If you were going to make a real change, you wouldn’t wait until a random day. You wouldn’t say, “I’d love to make a change in my life that would make a significant impact on my life, but…like…I have to wait a couple more days because I couldn’t possibly make a life altering change today…it’s only Tuesday…I need to wait until Thursday.”
I’m not saying you can’t make changes. I’m saying that if you’re going to make a change, you need to do it now. Not January 1st. Or Monday. Now, sometimes you might need to do some planning or some preparation. But that means you’re starting now. It just means that you’re not actually DOING but you need to plan to do.
Now if you MUST make New Year’s Resolutions, I have a couple of rules for you to follow.
First, don’t make resolutions that are fundamentally opposed to your nature. What’s that mean? Well, if you’re lazy and out of shape, your New Year’s Resolution shouldn’t be “I’m going to run a marathon this year.” Instead, focus on things that are possible. Eat a LITTLE bit better. Work a LITTLE bit harder. Don’t dream a little dream. Do something tangible.
Second, think little. Don’t say you’re going to go from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds flat. Make incremental changes. Think about things that you know you can do. There’s nothing wrong with changing a little bit at a time. There’s a much better chance that you’ll make that little change instead of doing something wild and outrageous.
Finally, think about what you want rather than what you’re going to do. Don’t say, “I’m going to run 1 hour each day” Instead start with, “I’m going to get in better shape” and then break that down further from there. Yes, at some point you need to come up with the task that gets you there, but understanding where the hell you’re going is equally important.
And one last thing. If you’re going to make these silly resolutions, you need to tell someone who will stick it to you. You need to find the people that will call you out on being a lazy moron and tell them what you’re planning to do because at some point you need that person to kick you in the ass.
If you’ve read this whole thing and you’re still going to make a New Year’s Resolution and you want someone to be that kick in the ass you need, let me know what you’ve got planned.