Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
May I suggest that you don’t?
The last New Year’s resolution I ever made – and the only one I ever actually kept – was to … (wait for it) … never make another New Year’s resolution.
The start of a year seems like a great time to reset and step forward into a better version of ourselves and our lives. And it’s true that anniversaries like this feel relevant and even important.
So we take this opportunity to make a big commitment to BIG CHANGE.
But … change doesn’t typically happen in big jumps; it happens in small increments.
On top of that, the type of change we set for ourselves at the New Year mark tends to be “should” change.
- I “should” go to the gym
- I “should” eat healthier foods
- I “should” stop drinking / smoking / whatever your “should stop” thing is
And so on.
“Should” changes aren’t very motivating. They’re typically guilt-driven or inspired by external pressure from family and friends.
And then when we don’t follow through – when we break the commitment to ourselves – we feel even more guilty and annoyed with ourselves.
So I hope I’m not too late (since you’re reading this after January 1st) to suggest that you just don’t do it.
In place of the resolution, I offer a different process. An ongoing process that you can do for any time chunk: a day, a week, a month, a quarter, and, yes, a whole year.
You can find the paper describing how it works here: The Discipline of Reflective Review.
Enjoy. And let me know what you think and how it works for you!