If one more person asks me what New Year’s resolutions I made this year, I’m going to lose it.
Let’s be clear – I don’t make resolutions. Not this year, not last year, not next year. Never.
On the surface, resolutions seem like a nice idea. You identify the things in your life that you are not happy with, and resolve to change them. Maybe you want to lose weight, or spend more time with your spouse / children. Maybe you want to be more open-minded or less stressed. These are certainly worthy goals for any life.
But what makes you think that you are more likely to follow through with them, just because you ‘resolved’ to at the beginning of another arbitrary new year?
If you don’t like how much you weigh, then you have probably been thinking about it for a while. In fact, you probably think about it every day. And yet you’ve done nothing about it? And now you think that you’ll actually have the will-power to change, just because the year has changed?
Psh! It won’t happen.
Don’t make resolutions – make changes!
If I don’t like some aspect of my life, I don’t wait for symbolic things to line up before doing something about them.
Here’s my 5 step process to enjoying life:
- Identify something about life that I don’t like.
- Identify what specifically needs to be done in order to change it.
- Do a basic cost/bennefit analysis, identifying what the change will cost vs. what I will gain, and then make a decision about whether or not the cost truly outweighs the benefit.
- If I think that changing is too much trouble given the benefit, then I accept it, stop whining, and move on, so I can restart the process again with a different problem. If I think changing is worth the trouble, then I follow through with the things identified in Step 2. Either way, I have made a decision and have to accept responsibility for my action or inaction.
That’s it! Just make a decision about what you’ll gain vs. the amount of effort it will take, and then do it. If you follow the process and discover that you are not willing to accept the hassle required to really change something, then just move on to something else.
Making resolutions isn’t the same as making changes – resolutions are just one more way to procrastinate. I’m all for procrastination – I won’t hold it against you. Just don’t pretend like you are actually accomplishing anything.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because at the end of the year I have nothing to resolve. I fixed all of my problems as soon as they came up.
In 2011, the only things that I will fix are things that become a problem in 2011.