Ever notice when you create a timeline for something it almost never works out? It doesn’t matter what it is. Big or small things always fall through – especially when that timeline is based on age or some other arbitrary date. Seems to always happen when it comes to new year’s resolutions.
Time and time again, I’ve set resolutions and goals based on arbitrary numbers and failed miserably.
When I was in high school my plan was to be rich, own a home and have it all figured out by 25. Clearly that didn’t work out.
As a pre-teen, I thought I’d be living the life now. I pictured myself driving my amazing car, acne free, working my dream job and traveling the world. Now I’m pushing 30 and driving cars from the early 2000’s, still suffering from acne, working a great job that has it typical tribulations, rarely traveling and struggling to get it together.
When I graduated from college I was convinced I’d have a perfect 800 credit score by now, but all those student loans makes it difficult to accomplish.
Speaking of which, just last year, I made it a goal to pay off four student loans in 2015. Again, I failed. Instead I only paid off three. (Not too shabby, I know, but still left me feeling disappointed.)
I also decided that I would learn sign language as well as reach a certain amount of subscribers by the end of the year. None of that happened. And though I had a pretty decent year, my failure just had me feeling disappointed, defeated and burnt out – much like most people who fail when it comes to their new year resolutions.
Of course, it took the Facebook Year in Review bombarding me every time I logged on to realize the error of my ways. (By the way, if you aren’t one to post much on Facebook don’t look at your “year in review. ” It will only make you feel like a loser who has no life at all.)
I was picking all these goals based on dates that had no foundation Just because it felt right. Why did I decide 2015 would be the year I’d pay off four student loans? Was it because it was feasible and just made sense? Or was it because debt payoff is the “in” thing and it only seemed right to join the bandwagon. Same goes for randomly deciding to learn sign language in a year.
I can’t be the only one to come up with these random timelines for New Year’s resolutions. How many times have you decided you would travel to a certain amount of destinations by the end of the year? Or how about your proclamation to run a half marathon? Did either of those happen? Or were they just more resolutions to fall by the way side?
Some of you strive with these timelines and shine with flying colors. Others, like me, just feel too much pressure, fail and then struggle to see all that was accomplished throughout the year. Then you feel ashamed because you didn’t accomplish what you thought you should.
That’s the problem with New Year’s resolutions. They are bandwagon phenomenas revolving around a timeline of what you think you should be doing instead of what you want to do. I could be wrong, but these big resolution ideas that we wait a whole year to decide on are usually based on what we see other people doing and think we should be doing for ourselves. It ends up being all about comparison. So of course, the motivation isn’t there to fulfill that resolution which ends up in defeat.
So in 2016 I’m making a change and doing things differently. I’m not making a New Year’s resolution. And you shouldn’t either. I’m forgoing those artificial goals and timelines.
Instead, I’ve decided it’s time I vow to simply be better than I was yesterday. After all, that’s what resolutions should be about rather than arbitrary timelines based on random ages and dates. There’s no reason to put pressure on ourselves to reach some random deadline we picked out of the sky for no reason. They usually have no basis and don’t really matter in the grand scheme. No matter the specific goal, the desired result is to always be a better person.
Be better than you were yesterday. It’s simple, concrete enough to motivate yourself but not too limiting to create too much pressure. And it’s something that can be accomplished every single day.
Only managed to write one blog post yesterday instead of two? No, problem do it today.
Only got in 50 crunches yesterday? Be better today by doing 75.
Didn’t volunteer at the homeless shelter yesterday? Go a step further by volunteering and donating some items today.
Missed the chance work on that business plan? Be the best you can be by finishing it today.
Messed up that salsa step in Zumba class last night? Practice it for an hour today so you’ll be able to kill it in class next week.
Forgot to buy the domain name for the blog you want to start? Simply buy it today.
Doesn’t sound too crazy at all, does it? And yet, you’re almost guaranteed to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Don’t beat yourself up over what you didn’t accomplish yesterday, the day before, last week or even last year. Instead, when you wake up every morning ask yourself how you can be better than you were yesterday and what you want to do. Hopefully, you can answer those questions honestly and find a way to put it in motion.
Do that and you’re destined to be an accomplished and better person for 2016 and all the years to come.
No New Year’s Resolution needed.
Are you usually good at sticking to new year’s resolutions? Do timelines usually work for you?
TERRIfic Quip: Be better than you were yesterday.
Yes! I think this is so important to simply just be better than yesterday. I love it. I will incorporate this daily as well during 2016. and YAY for paying off (some of) your student loans, I’ve set a small goal of ONE this year I hope I do it!
I am horrible a New year’s resolution I love your idea. I think it could work for me. I really need to get off my tushy and lose weight and eat healthier. I am not going to give myself a time frame or beat myself up if I don’t exercise every day I ‘ll make sure I do something each day whether its exercise for 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Great post. Wishing you Happy New Year!!
I’ve never been a New YEar’s Resolution person. Any goals I had were always done at the time I wanted or needed them. I never wanted to wait for the beginning of the year or month or week. So I love your day to day being better idea. Works for me!
I’m not a fan of traditional resolutions either. Last year I decided to make a list of things I was unsatisfied with then I went through the list and asked myself what I had control over. If I could control it (save money, end relationships, lose weight, etc.) I did, if I couldn’t, I gave myself permission to let it go. Easy peasy 🙂
Girl, I love your method! I learned I wasn’t in control the moment I was having my son 3.5 weeks early even though I had a scheduled C-section. I need to borrow your philosophy and just allow myself to let things go if I can’t control it.
I think before we were adults we had it all planned out then life happened and you are in a totally different place than you thought you would be. But I have learned to take it day by day and plan out what you can do for the day, week or month and what you can’t try the next time around. Great Post!!!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve learned that we really aren’t in control even though we like to think we are. That’s why planning too far in advance isn’t realistic. I’ve found tackling everything one day at a time is best.
I don’t do resolutions. I am a goal setter and I use that as my guide for every new year. It’s always fulfilling to get to the end of the year and check in and see what I accomplished.
Great perspective. I vowed to do so many things this year and I barely scratched the surface. I decided to take life one day at a time and I love every bit of it.
I recently started making goals and that seems to work for me. It helps give me direction and it forces me to step outside of my comfort zone.
I create new year goals and write them out. I use a planner that helps me get the job done.
You remind me of myself because I certainly had a goal to earn $2,000 extra per month by December and pay off one of my student loans by the end of this year. Um…yeah…so that didn’t happen but I did achieve many other things that I didn’t even resolve to do. Next year I’m focusing on quarterly goals. What do I want to do by April 1st is on my mind right now and I have a clear strategy to get there and have no doubt that I will be able to follow through. Last year I wanted to many things and failed to achieve a lot because my view was scattered. Once I started narrowing on a few things and simply doing them, things got better. Oh, and I’ve started already because I don’t have time to be waiting on a new year, lol!
Seems so simple but it can be so difficult. I definitely set lofty goals and resolutions but never meet them. I love the idea of one day at a time!!!
I’ve always be a goal oriented person, not so much as resolutions because I feel that I start a new any day. Not specifically 1/1/of which ever year. These past few weeks I’ve been evaluating my 2016 to see if I did what I wanted to do and I’ll be working from there.
Awesome idea. Very doable because of it s simplicity. Thank you for the great idea