Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

30th December
2010
written by Randy

Have you ever noticed how many people make New Year’s resolutions? And how many of them seem to fail at those resolutions?

Have you ever wondered why? I mean it seems like most of the resolutions people make are pretty simple. They sound easy. So why is it so common to fail at a New Year’s resolution?

Because most resolutions are cop-outs. Just look at the most common resolutions people make.

I believe there are three kinds of cop-out that represent the majority of New Year’s resolutions that people make:

  • It’s too easy. A lot of New Year’s resolutions are painfully simple — things like quit smoking, quit drinking, go to the theater, etc., where the completion of the task is literally a binary state that could be flipped by simply doing the thing you say, rather than wasting your time writing or saying it.

    Let’s be honest, either you smoke or you don’t — there’s really no work involved in that choice. And whether or not the process of quitting is difficult for some people, the fact is, that it’s literally a one-second decision. And when you know that, it’s easy to put it off when you’ve got a whole year.

  • It’s too general. Another kind of resolution that’s way to common is lose weight, get in shape, start working out, where the statement of the goal implies something big, but the actual goal is never defined. There is nothing to measure for success.

    When your resolution is to “start working out”, one trip to the gym satisfies that. But we all know it’s not what you meant. When your goal is to “get in shape”, you have know idea what it would mean to succeed, so you’re probably going to fail. Success requires metrics: tangible measurable results.

  • It’s superficial or disingenuous. The third kind of resolution that is destined to fail is the one you don’t really mean anyway. Things like give to charity, or be nicer to people, or learn to be more caring.

    Usually, these are not real goals at all. Most of the time, these are little more than token gestures to acknowledge a character flaw in yourself without actually doing anything to fix it. If you make a resolution like this, we all know you have no intention of actually doing it.

So how is the yearly challenge different? Simple. The yearly challenge is difficult, it’s specific, and it’s genuine. It’s an honest goal, and it has measurable results. Here are some examples, to highlight the difference:

New Year’s resolution: lose weight
Yearly challenge: get my weight below 200 lbs.

New Year’s resolution: get in shape
Yearly challenge: run a 6-minute mile

New Year’s resolution: start saving
Yearly challenge: save $8,000

New Year’s resolution: see the US
Yearly challenge: visit all 50 states

New Year’s resolution: learn Italian
Yearly challenge: read Pinocchio in the original Italian

Do you see the difference? The point of the yearly challenge is to give you a challenging task, with well-defined criteria for success. When you can see the numbers involved in your goal, it’s easy to figure out where you need to be every step of the way, in order to be successful. And when you make the task big, there will be pressure on you to start making progress right away.

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to lay out some specific goals; big things I plan to do with my 2011. Then, I will spend this year sharing my progress with you. I’ve got some exciting things planned, and I’m already anxious to get started.

So what will your yearly challenge be? What great thing(s) are you going to accomplish in the coming year? Leave a comment and let me know!