New Month Resolutions

Andddd I’m back!

Now I considered waiting until after the New Years to start posting again, but then I realized that I’d be passing up an opportunity to write about another old-fashioned tradition that needs a solid makeover.  That’s right.  We’re talking about New Year Resolutions.

Wait a second now… isn’t this post called “New Month Resolutions?”

You’re absolutely right.

When it comes to New Year Resolutions, only a small percentage of people ever really accomplish any of their goals.  And within that small group of people, even less of them actually finish the whole list.  Why is that you say?  Are we lazy?  Unable to commit to what we set out to do?

The answer is yes and no.

You really can’t blame yourself.  If I told you that you needed to work at your job and slave away for 60 hours a week, but that I would only pay you once a year,  I guarantee you that a majority of people would start out saying no or quit part way through.  And the same thing applies to New Year Resolutions, you’re talking about these grandiose overarching goals that are supposed to be worked on over a THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE DAY time period.

Now I recognize that some people’s goals are things like “Finally go visit The White House because I’ve been living in the DC Metro Area for 30 years and never been.”  These goals are pretty easy to cross off.  But let’s the face the reality, and the facts are that almost EVERY single New Year Resolutions will absolutely have one if not both of the following:

  1. Weight – Lose weight, eat healthier, go to the gym, get fit, get six pack abs, you name it.
  2. Money – Save more, spend less, pay off loans, become debt free, etc.

And the thing is that there is nothing wrong with trying to improve these two things.  I mean after all, our life is pretty much centered around our health and our money.  But the goals end up being these HUGE and GRANDIOSE things like…

  • Lose 50 lbs by the end of the year.
  • Save $25,000 for a down payment on a house.
  • Pay off $80,000 of school loans.

There are so many things wrong with goals like these.  But here are the top three mistakes with most New Year Resolutions:

  1. Overly Ambitious – I get it.  It’d be great if you could save up $25,000 for a down payment to a house by the end of the year… except… oh right… let’s not forget that over the last five years you’ve barely managed to save 10% of your paycheck every time the bills come rolling around.  And you want to save $25,000 in 12 months?  Come on buddy, let’s be real here.
  2. No Tangible Reward – Now some of you may think: “Wait a second, isn’t completing the goal a reward in itself?”  And the answer is one big NOOOOOOOO.  When it comes to these big goals that everyone has, the reward is so far ahead that the end is not even in sight.  In other words, that’s like me telling you that there’s a huge pile of money sitting on an island 5,000 miles away from shore.  It’s there alright, except you have to swim across shark infested waters.  And did I mention that you won’t see the island until you’ve pretty much swam the entire way?
  3. The Timeline of a Year – This is the ultimate failure of most New Year Resolutions.  A year is just simply too long of a time table for anyone to actually commit seriously when it comes to goals that are generally very discipline heavy.  Think about how many things you’ve procrastinated when it was simply due next week.  And you want to talk about a task that’s supposed to be done in a year?  Dream on.

In the end, I don’t know how many failed New Year Resolutions you want to go through, but for me, twenty three years is about good enough for me.  Instead, let’s have New Month Resolutions that are a subset of the New Year Resolutions.

In the interest of not having an overly gigantic post, the tactics for creating your new resolutions for 2012 will be posted tomorrow!  

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3 responses to “New Month Resolutions”

  1. Jo-z Schwartz says :

    This year I found it tough to come up with any new year resolutions. Anything that I have issue with in my life I have either already made certain that it’s something I want to change or establish, or I have made peace with the fact that it’s something that will indefinitely be put on the back burner.

    I found myself undergoing new year reflections. I stopped to have a deep look back at what was right and wrong in my life in 2011 and, more or less, evaluated my path to resolve them.

    So while yesterday (Dec. 31st) was all about reflection, I will most certainly use the SMART method to formulate how I will take direct-action on the issues I decide to tackle in 2012.

    Good post my friend!

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  1. New Month Resolution Tactics « Breaking Norms - December 28, 2011

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