It used to seem that every year, without fail, I would create a New Year resolution that I was determined to keep – and also without fail, I managed to give up on that goal after only a few short months. On January 1st, my intentions would always be so pure, so committed, and so sure – and by March 1st, I would often forget I had ever made that silly resolution to begin with.
After years of doing this, I finally realized something so basic that it irritates me to this day that I never actually thought of it before: My goals were too large, too specific, and too secret. In other words, I would create a gigantic, very aggressive, super specific plan on January 1st – and then never tell a single soul about it. For example? One year my resolution was that I was going to lose 10 pounds by eating no more than 1,500 calories a day and exercising for at least an hour, six days a week. The results? The minute I slipped up even a tiny bit on any of my specific metrics, I just gave up. And because I never told anyone about my goals, I didn’t have to worry about disappointing anyone other than me.
A few years ago, I changed it all up. I began with simple, generic, and open concepts of things I wanted to improve in my life, and then simply asked myself to work on the challenges in small steps. I also made sure to share my goals with friends and family, so I always had accountability.
My resolution for 2021 is to become more organized and work on my next book. Sure, those are big goals, but I’m not holding myself to unattainable and rigorous metrics that I can’t keep. Instead, I’ve created a loose outline and some basic goals that I’d like to see me achieve, and I’ve shared these goals with those I love. Focusing on organization can be difficult for me, especially as a naturally creative individual and an author. Often, I let my thoughts run wild – and lose a lot of great material along the way. My resolution to add more organizational skills to my work will help me be a better person and a stronger author – both things that will help with my ultimate goal of completing my next book in 2021.
How do you set goals? Do you find you fail because you over think the process? What can you do differently to make achieving your goals and meeting your resolutions more attainable?