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What’s Wrong With Your New Year’s Resolution

What’s Wrong With Your New Year’s Resolution

Hitting the gym is by far the most popular New Year’s resolution out there. Everybody wants to get fit, and we all want to make sure that our friends know about our goals. That is, until gym visits become less and less frequent, and that New Year’s resolution turns into a New Year’s flop.

Instead of setting a vague, boring resolution about going to the gym more often, why not set a specific goal? Aim to do something that is either gonna happen or not happen, with no half-hearted middle ground. Here’s everything you need to know about setting a clear, achievable New Year’s resolution, and going through with it all the way.

Be Specific

Here’s a bad New Year’s resolution: I’m going to be better about my health. It’s bad for a few reasons, but it’s worst offense is vagueness. Vague resolutions have no clear terms or ending conditions. Going through with them isn’t very satisfying because you can never quite tell when you’re finished, and when you’ve achieved your goals.

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Unclear goals aren’t as good for you either. In the example above, doing better about your health could mean any number of things, and none of them are necessarily big changes. It could just mean that I’ll eat less candy which, while good for me, isn’t that big of a change in my lifestyle. I could do a lot better just by aiming to achieve a more specific goal, like finishing a triathlon by the end of the year.

Find a resolution that interests you and has a clear finish. Something like I’m going to finish an Ironman race this year has an unmistakable ending. You’ll have satisfied your goal when you complete that Ironman.

Aim High

Lofty goals like the Ironman will be great for you whether you achieve them or not. Just training for a triathlon will be a lot better for you than eating less candy, even if you don’t end up getting to the finish.

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Aiming high doesn’t have to mean picking some seemingly unattainable goal, and the challenges that your resolutions give you don’t always have to be centered around hard workouts and stressful diets. Whether your resolution is to go big with a Coast to Coast Walk, or hit a moderate goal like hiking in Torrey Pines, picking something that challenges and betters you is what matters.

Find the right resolution that will challenge you in areas that you want to improve, and set unmistakable goal posts to track your progress.

Prove It

New Year’s resolutions are most well-known for how often people fail at them. Setting up a means of proving your success, both to yourself and others, makes you stand out and keeps you honest. Something like a personal vlog is a great way to keep yourself accountable and celebrate your success, or learn from your failures, with others. By vlogging weekly about your progress, you leave a record that you can use to go back and see how far you’ve come. You will also build an audience that you don’t want to disappoint and that sense of responsibility can help motivate you when the going gets tough.

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Who knows, you might even become the next Youtube star. Internet sensations have certainly erupted around less noble causes.

Plan Ahead

New Year’s resolutions are made at the very start of the year, usually in the dead of winter. For most people, though, this is one of the worst times to make progress on a New Year’s resolution, especially a dynamic one that involves more than just hitting the gym. It’s going to be hard to train for that triathlon in sub-zero temperatures.

By using your time wisely you can take care of some essential prep work without boring yourself to death on a treadmill. For example, if you’ve never done a triathlon before, you probably don’t know what kind of wetsuit you’ll need for the swimming portion. The perfect time to research this kind of stuff is when you’re stuck at home, so you don’t find yourself unequipped the day before the race.

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Making commitments now can also help you incentivize yourself to put in the work when the weather improves. If you’ve done a lot of prep in the winter, you won’t want to let that work go to waste when springs rolls around.

New Year’s resolutions are famous for not getting done. But, now you know everything that you need to do to make sure that your New Year’s goal doesn’t become another New Year’s flop.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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