If you have read my other article, 2017 Revenue Goals for SideHustleDad, you already know where I’m going with this post. In the post, I explained that I not only wouldn’t be setting New Year Resolutions this year, but that I can’t stand them. In todays post, I’m going to explain why.
On the surface, setting a New Year’s Resolution is pretty harmless. Maybe it is. I’m not suggesting it’s horrible to set a resolution. What I don’t like is how its become an annual routine for us – we set resolutions, we break them, we move on like nothing happened. I used to be part of this cycle, and it was fine for a while.
Then 2016 happened.
In 2016, something clicked. I have always been motivated and ambitious, but I lacked consistency and follow-through. In 2016, I started completing goals that I set, and with a fantastic pace. In short, 2016 was the beginning of a new Mike, and I really like this guy more than the old one. He gets stuff done, and doesn’t mess around. I was more productive, I spent more time with my kids, I enjoyed my work more.
Reason #1: I lied to myself
I would say “this year, I’m going to lose weight!” I would then somehow expect the year itself to bring the weight loss to me, and I would just acquire it. You see, setting a resolution, for me, placed the responsibility on something other than myself. I can’t say I’ve ever been bothered when I broke a resolution. I always brushed it off and went on with my day. I shouldn’t have. I should have been concerned, and upset with myself for not following through with a goal that I had set.
Reason #2: I don’t want to diet.
This isn’t about fitness, or dieting – but stay with me. I’m firmly against dieting for one reason: for me, it’s always temporary. If I say “I will not eat bad food,” I know very well that I’ll be breaking that within a week or two. I had a problem with Soda (or Pop, if you’re from the northern US). I would drink it pretty regularly, and if I stopped, I’d get awful caffeine headaches. For a long time I kept saying “I’ll stop for two weeks,” but it never lasted.
It’s been 3 or 4 months since I drank a Soda with caffeine. I drink a non-caffeine drink now and then, but I don’t drink it regularly. In my whole life, I’ve never been able to kick Soda, and then just suddenly, it happens. How did I do it? I just woke up one day and said, this is my new life. This is how I’ll live. And I did it.
For that reason, I believe in the term “lifestyle change” instead of dieting, when it comes to pretty much anything. For goals, I’m not going to set a temporary goal that I can drop, I’m going to declare that Mike will do this, and live this way, and go out and do it. That doesn’t mean a temporary method like dieting won’t work for some, but I believe you should find what makes you successful, and if you keep trying the same thing and getting the same results, well..you’re nuts.
Reason #1: 12 month goals don’t work for me
I want to do a lot of things. If I limit myself to one or two resolutions a year, that’s simply not enough. In 2016, my most productive period was actually the last 2 months of the year. I set some tough goals, and I pushed hard to meet them. I said things like “I’ll write my book before the end of the year.” I had no idea how to do that – including things like publishing to Amazon and such, but I did it. For me, setting 1-3 month goals seems to be much more effective than a long 12 month goal.
So moving forward, if my old resolution would have been learning Italian, my new goal would be to learn to count from 1 to 20 in Italian, and learn the basic greetings before February 1st. After I reach my goal in February, I’ll move on to the next milestone.
Happy New Years to everyone. I’m not trying to put a damper on the festivities, but rather help some people consider their goals and progress, and perhaps reevaluate their approach to them. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year! Get stuff done in 2017!