By now, it’s entirely likely that your New Years Resolutions are as cold and lifeless as a puppy on Pluto.
You’re not alone. Some 88% of resolutions are destined not to make it anywhere near success, even if you start out with the best of intentions on January 1st. It’s simple to make resolutions year after year; tempting even. You want things to change, you want something better, and the start of a brand new year seems like the perfect time to start and stop all of that “stuff”.
But New Years Resolutions are systemically flawed, and it’s hardly surprising they end up broken and discarded like an old sofa when you consider that they’re normally one of these 3 things:
- Something you think you should probably stop doing, because it might be “bad”
- Something you think you should probably start doing, because it’s generally perceived as “good”
- Something that’s fuelled by guilt or shame, whether it’s something you’ve done or not done
I don’t know about you, but none of those 3 things seems like a good reason to do anything to me.
Go about a decision with any one of these drivers and you’ve failed before you’ve even started.
Making your decisions based on what popular opinion says you should do or because that’s what your peers are doing seems crazy, right? But you still do it.
Committing to something because a part of you feels like you maybe, kinda, sorta, oughta do it is really just fooling yourself that you’re taking action. But you still do it.
And let’s not dwell too long on the choices you make because it’s what’s expected of you—or perhaps even what you expect of you—which leads to a life of survival, not of living. But you still do it.
You do these things because they carry zero risk and require minimal effort. They’re easy. And they don’t need you to take a stand in your life.
So what to do instead? What to do with those broken New Years Resolutions? How about trying this.
Playing a great game of tennis, Pictionary, chess or anything else requires you to:
- Show up
- Play at your best, even though you don’t know how the game will play out
- Practice, so you can get better
So pick a game that matters to you.
Play it because it matters you. Engage with it because it fascinates you, because it might be bloody good fun or because something extraordinary might happen.
Play a game that matters because not playing isn’t an option, because you want the texture of experience that only comes from engaging or because you want to learn to be a great participant.
Play, because you just might win.
Don’t mourn your New Years Resolutions or think less of yourself for not nailing them. Toss them in the trash like a week old, half eaten burrito that you didn’t really want anyway.
Then make a new choice.
A new choice based on who you are and what really matters to you.
A choice that not only brings the game to life, buts get you in the arena.
Ready to play?
Featured photo credit: Tram rails background. Milan, Italy. via Shutterstock