February 21, 2022
Why New Year’s Resolutions Suck.
Why giving up and not setting any goals is not the path either.
How to make sustainable changes in the third year of the pandemic.
When the clock struck midnight and the year turned from 2021 to 2022, many hoped this year would be different from the previous two and set ambitious New Year’s Resolutions.
Others, who prayed for 2020 to be over, and then 2021 continued in the same tune, gave up on creating any goals, or plans to avoid further disappointments in 2022. Many of us are somewhere in between.
What if we consider 2022 to be a year that has three number 2s in it, and that’s it? What if we don’t shoot for the wins but don’t quit either.
If you are anything like me, you used to set big ambitious goals every December 31st. Start working out regularly, lose weight, save money, learn a new language, etc.
Inevitably, I would not keep my resolutions. I am not alone. Forbes reports that 80% of people abandon their resolutions by the beginning of February.
Well, of course. There is nothing wrong with me or you. This is totally normal.
New Year’s Resolutions suck because they assume that you will magically become a new person.
This may work for chosen few, but most of us normal mortals won’t acquire unshakable will-power, consistency, and resolve just because the clock struck midnight.
You are the same person on January 1st as you were on December 31st. There was no massive tectonic shift in your personality when you woke up:
You didn’t magically have a huge desire to get up at 4 am and go for a 15-mile run.
You didn’t become a kale lover when pizza was your regular staple.
You will not start reading four books a week and give up the TV if your favorite pastime is jamming on Netflix and can’t wait for the next season of your show.
NOPE. None of that happens between the end of the previous year and the start of the new year.
So why do we wait or hope to change things when the New Year starts?
Why do we believe there will be something magically different about us and who we are?
I think it seems somewhat simpler to us. The new beginning seems to make it easier. And then life continues to happen.
New Year’s resolutions set us up to fail. Let’s fight back.
Now you might be thinking – OK, so why should I set any goals at all?
2020 sucked. 2021 also sucked. So what is the point?
Yep, both of those years were very difficult. They had their challenges and tragedies, and 2022 may be the third year like this in a row. I don’t know. Nobody can tell yet.
But there is another way.
Instead of diving into the despair pool, I have seen online recently, where “nothing matters” anymore. What if we say: “F**k you 2022.” I am not setting goals and plans for you!
What if we simply set them for ourselves – us, not for the New Year – but US.
I think we all need something that we want. Something that will make us happy if we achieve it. Something that can occupy our minds and help us reach the next level. We can’t reach the next level if we don’t set the next target.
That brings me to the timing of my post. On purpose, I didn’t post this on New Year’s because I want this to be the “Start Anytime – Change is Possible” post.
Small changes, small everyday decisions are where the BIG changes happen over time. It’s called the compound effect – we see it everywhere in our lives – interest rates, every time we learn something new. For example, learning only ten words a day will become 3650 words a year, which is the upper intermediate to lower advanced level of fluency in a new language.
In the spirit of Atomic Habits, I decided to select small things I can do in very little time (5 minutes a day to be exact) that will feel simple to do that I can treat as a game.
Small changes that mean I am doing something I can be proud of that will be moving me towards my goals, and at the same time, if I want to watch Netflix later, I won’t feel bad about it.
Here are my 5-minute goals for 2022:
Let me know what your 5-minute goal plan is in the comments.
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