On New Years Resolutions. Or why let an arbitrary day be so important to your goals?

I’ve never been a fan of New Years Resolutions. The ideas of self improvement and setting goals are great. But New Years Resolutions are for the most part, doomed for faliure. It’s as if people subconciously say, “I’m going to set a goal that’s slightly out of reach, then attempt it for a month, then by February even my spouse will forgotten that I was trying.”

Maybe it’s because the people that I know that are big fans of resolutions are not as serious about goals as I am. Or maybe it’s just a bad way to go about setting goals. I’m going to assume the latter.

Let’s just say a goal is worthy like say, losing 30 lbs. Why would you need to wait till New Years Day to begin achieving it? Should you really put your health on the shelf for a month or two? Absolutely not.

This is prarticulary nerdy, but I’ll admit that I used to post my goals, usually writing goals, on my refridgerator.

This is a little harder to do these days with a house full of women so I try to keep this list more mental these days. But it works a little like this.

Daily: Write every day for an hour.

Weekly: Write at least five days a week.

Six Months: (For larger goals) Finish rough draft

One Year: Finish first draft

18 Mos: Complete project

Then every six months the list is revised based on how well I met my goals and hopefully it reflects that I’m moved closer to completion of the project.

The point here isn’t that my system is any smarter than anyone else’s. It’s certainly no GTD system. The difference between my little lists and a New Years Resolution is that it isn’t based on any outside force of a static date or peer pressure. It is created because I put it there for my own, very personal reasons.

So, if you have developed a New Years Resolutions to lose 30 pounds, please go ahead and work towards your goal. What I’m suggesting is not to call it a “New Years Resolution.” Make it a personal goal that won’t be cast aside like last years Christmas tree when the season comes to an end. Set your goal and own it.

OK, so what are my personal goals?

Within 6 months: To run the ING Half-Marathon 15 minutes faster than I ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon on Thanksgiving day.

Within year: To complete a century mountain bike race. (I’ve registered for the Leadville lottery, will find out more in February)

6 months ago my goals were to run a half-marathon and post here twice a week. Check.

Posted on: January 2, 2010, by :