Chris Do on the Power of Daily Resolutions
As the year is drawing to a close and we look forward to spending some quality time with friends and family, some of us are already thinking about making resolutions for the New Year. It’s a tradition for many people to set personal and professional goals in the waning moments of each calendar year.
I get it. It feels good to make promises to yourself about the person you’d like to be more like. You might resolve to lose weight, spend more time with family, read more, or travel to foreign places. For some, just making a resolution feels good enough that they don’t actually follow through with it. Are you feeling a little guilty of doing just that?
It probably won’t surprise you that an astonishing 80% of people fail to keep their new year’s resolution by the second week of February. So in 45 days or so, people just quit. They give up. What happened to your iron? What happened to the promise you made to yourself to succeed at all costs? The problem is, life gets in the way. There are many things fighting for your attention and time, and that early dopamine hit you get from setting your goals, is now long gone. It was much more exhilarating just to declare to yourself (or the world) what you planned to do, than actually doing it. Weeks go by. Months disappear. All of this fades til December 31st rolls around again. The cycle repeats itself year after year, yet unsurprisingly, you’re not much closer to achieving your goals. The feeling of disappointment becomes familiar until you eventually become numb to it.
Oh well, you shrug, there’s always next year. You wait a whole year to start thinking about your goals again. So what happened to all the days in between? Rather than focusing on setting a New Year’s resolution, replace it with a New Day’s resolution. Tighten up the timeline and work on your goals every day. Instead of having big, lofty goals, go for the quick wins—the confidence boosters. Keep the goals actionable, results-focused.
The secret to being able to achieve your goals is to make them smart. SMART goals are specific, measurable, actionable, results-focused and time-bound. For example, instead of having the goal of being healthier, have a goal of doing 100 push-ups, twice a week, or cut down eating red meat to only once per week. These goals are attainable and will help to restore a positive rhythm of accomplishments versus the nagging feeling of not living up to your potential.
As you are able to consistently hit your goals, set new, slightly out-of-reach goals. With each accomplishment, you’ll feel more confident and motivated to keep going. It can get addictive. Maybe this is the year you ditch the New Year’s goal for a healthier, more attainable, New Day’s goal.