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The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution

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The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution

Every year, over half of the U.S. population set New Year’s goals. Out of those millions of people, only about 8% actually succeed in hitting their goals. The rest either have a faulty goal setting system or weren’t really serious about accomplishing them in the first place.

So rather than waste time on a New Year’s resolution that you will have long abandoned by February 1st, maybe it’s time for a better strategy.

Back in 2015, here were the top 3 New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More

All of these are great goals on paper. They each have something unique that can improve that person’s life. There is nothing wrong with setting goals to improve your life.

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The challenge is that most of these goals never get accomplished. It’s quite sad because most people have great intentions when setting their New Year’s resolutions.

You’ve been there: you set a resolution that you are really fired up about…for a couple weeks. Life gets in the way and before you know it, July comes and you laugh off the thought of setting that goal in the first place.

According to Timothy Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada, the biggest issues with New Year’s resolutions are that they are a form of “cultural procrastination”. We wait to transform our lives only when the motivation of the New Year comes.

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The problem is that we aren’t actually ready to make the necessary changes in our lives. We don’t develop the right habits (or stop the bad ones) and therefore quickly burn out.

Just like those weekly fad diets: people are great two weeks in, but burn out by week 3.

It doesn’t matter how smart your goals are, it matters how intentional you are about changing your behavior.

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So in this new year, don’t set your typical New Year’s resolution. Decide to set a “being goal” to become the person that will hit that goal.

Let me explain what I mean:

Let’s take those top goals from before. Now, what if we changed those goals into who that person would need to become in order to hit that goal?

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Here are those resolutions – revamped:

  1. Lose WeightBecome a health nut
  2. Get OrganizedBecome a detail queen
  3. Spend Less, Save More – Become a frugillionaire

Just a simple re-wording massively changes the context of the goal and puts the focus back on the individual’s growth rather than external factors that can sometimes be out of our control. Now you are designing who you want to be rather than what you want to do.

The only way to become something different is to change what you do on a daily basis. True transformation begins in our daily routine. Yet, so many people continue to set lofty doing goals at the beginning of the year and fail to change their daily actions.

You see, it’s rarely about what you need to do, but rather who you need to become.

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Transformations don’t happen overnight. They take an inner change before an outer change can occur. This is why setting “being goals” rather than “doing goals” increases your chances of achieving your New Year’s resolutions. Decide who you are going to become next year and you will achieve your doing goals along the way.

So while you set goals for the new year, rather than just think about the outcomes, think about how you are going to get there and how you are going to become that person that kicks ass in 2017…

Question: What is your “being goal” for this new year? Provide some examples so we can all learn from each other.

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Scott Bradley

Self-Leadership Coach and Creative Writer

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

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5 Unexpected Places to Boost Your Productivity

The environment of a typical office or a quiet library may sometimes lessen your productivity as the unchanging views fail to stimulate your senses and keep your brain running. If you are the kind that dislikes absolute silence or minimal noise when working, these unexpected places to work may boost your productivity level!

1. Coffee shops

Research has shown that an adequate amount of ambient noise stimulates your senses and keeps you alert. Where else better to find some chatter and clatter to boost your creative juices? Working in the coffee shop also guarantees something else: unlimited supplies of caffeine!

Caffeine wakes you up by fooling adenosine receptors and speeds transmitting activities up in your nerve cells.If you do decide to try this place out, make sure that your work computer is facing the coffee shop customers so you will be less likely to procrastinate or go to inappropriate sites because people are secretly watching you.

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If your workplace requires you to be in the office, try this website and/or phone app that provides you with sounds from coffee shops around the world. Want to work at a cafe in Paris? No problem, it’s just a button away.

2. Cafeterias

Similar to coffee shops, company cafeteria or food courts provide consistent noise and the smell of food. The aroma of food makes you look forward to your next break and should motivate you to complete your work.

The act of eating likewise keeps your brain alert and produces dopamine. But make sure only to snack and stay around 60% full so that each bite is rewarding and invigorating. Snacking every 90 minutes should keep your brain balanced enough to focus on the work at hand.

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3. Empty University Classrooms  

Whether or not you’re an university student, we have all been a student at some point in our lives. And when you’re in a classroom, your brain is primed to stay focused because you have been conditioned to concentrate in class. In comparison to your bedroom, where your brain is primed to relax, sleep and have fun, the environment of the classroom triggers your memory to stay alert (unless you never listened in class) and work.

If you do decide to try working in an empty university classroom, be sure to bring a studious friend. Once you see that your friend or coworker is working hard, you would feel guilty for procrastinate and be more competitive.

Ever heard of environmental context-dependent memory? Research has shown that environmental context influences the way we encode information. If you study in the same place you first learned the material, your chances of recalling the information are significantly increased. Use environmental cues to your advantage so you spend less time doing more work!

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4. Outdoors

Fresh air, sunlight, cool breeze. Talk about getting your vitamin Ds the natural way. A healthy body is crucial to being productive. If you have a porch, use it to maximize your productivity!

On a cool day, the crisp air is good for waking your brain up. If your work station is indoors and poorly ventilated, the build up of carbon dioxide will cause your brain to be less active, hence, less productive. Try to bring some work to a park nearby or an unsheltered town square where you are exposed to the sun. Fresh air will vitalize your brain and the warm sunlight will bring a smile to your face.

5. The Shower 

Many people experience their “Aha!” moments when they’re in the shower. Why is that? The hot water helps with circulation and improves blood flow to your brain, giving it more oxygen and nourishment to break down your work block.

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If you aren’t motivated to work or feeling bored, a good shower will not only open up your pores, but also give your brain a boost of energy. Keep a waterproof white board and markers in the washroom so you will never lose those wonderful ideas again!

Featured photo credit: Thomas Franke via unsplash.com

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