Each year on January 1st, a large section of the populace believe they become super-achievers and Goal-Setters. They”set” New Year’s Resolutions, firmly (sort of) planning to change their lifestyles. Some people loudly proclaim their settlements. By the end of January, almost all of these are done. They are not done because they’ve accomplished their settlements, but because they have given up. Less than 30 days in the New Year they have given up on their”Aims”
I give you three reasons.
A resolution no longer means what it used to. A resolution comes in the term resolve. I resolve to do… When you have resolve, you’re determined. You intensely want to achieve that outcome. It has purpose and meaning in your life. A resolution on the other hand appears to now mean something that you want to see happen, but aren’t actually invested in it. For example, consider the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. Both of these institutions churn out resolutions, often explicitly called non-binding, like clockwork. Almost nobody thinks of determination and achievement in regards to them. I believe it’s in no small part because of their resolutions which don’t mean anything or have much impact. That’s just one example of the cheapening of the meaning of a resolution. Resolutions also have become vague ideas in the minds of many. A resolution to go to the gym more frequently or to lose weight is a weak desire compared to a Goal that states I’ll exercise 30 minutes each morning, eat only healthy foods and lose 25 pounds by July 1st.
A resolution is seldom backed by a plan. The example above to lose weight is followed up with a particular plan to achieve it. Why is it that we can envision some kind of a settlement but not have a strategy to get there? I believe it is because people do not put any thought into what it really takes to do exactly what they say they want to do. Slimming down or visiting the gym requires effort. Massive effort to start is required to overcome the inertia of being overweight and out of shape. Once people start bogged down the path, they get a feeling of it and decide it’s too hard. They give up. It was only a resolution after all. Having a plan to overcome this inertial turns the resolution into a objective.
A resolution usually lacks enthusiasm and a big Why. One of the essential elements to success and achievement is having passion for your Goals and a big enough Why to help you keep going when the going gets tough. It’s when you reach that tipping point where you could either fall backwards and lose all of your progress or dive ahead and create a self-sustaining momentum. If you’re not really committed, you fall backwards. If you are so determined to change your life the pain and exhaustion of getting started is no hindrance, you’ll dive ahead. The exact same is true for Goals. If your Why is small or doesn’t move you, then you’ll not achieve your targets either.
Resolutions are not what true achievers do. Achievers spend more time inventing their objectives, their aims and laying the groundwork for their Success. Planning is what separates those who resolve and those who achieve. Resolvers fail because they do not take resolutions seriously enough (point 1) to have a plan (point 2) or a huge enough Why (stage 3).