My New Year’s Resolutions used to be too simple and stupid.
On January 1st last year, I took a few minutes to write down New Year’s Resolutions. They were just a simple collection of positive affirmations designed to morph myself into a new and improved version of me.
Two-thousand fifteen will be remembered as one of the best and most memorable years of my life. It’s the year I decided to change myself and make life more awesome.
I thought that if I reached all of my goals, I would probably shape-shift into my ideal self.
My list looked something like this:
- Run more.
- Earn more.
- Spend less.
- Eat healthier.
- Lose weight.
While these are all great aspirations, I never achieved them. In fact, I didn’t even get close. Goals like these can’t be met. They are moving targets. They mock you and shout insults every time you stumble or fall short of what you are trying to accomplish. When you realize you aren’t making progress toward your goals, you quietly dismiss them, and pretend you never made them in the first place.
Goals need 4 things to work effectively.
- Be specific.
- Be realistic.
- Be rewarding.
- Be time-sensitive.
Goals need to be tailored to fit you. They should reflect a very positive outcome, ensuring that once you’ve completed your goal you will be rewarded. New Year’s Resolutions should take about 30 days to complete. If you have to wait a whole year for your achievements to come to fruition, you will likely give up before you’re halfway there. After a month of working hard to achieve your goals, you will have already established some good habits. Continuing is just upgrading the goals you started out with. Issue yourself another set of 30-day goals, but this time you can make them slightly more challenging. Do you see the pattern?
For 2016, I am re-writing my goals so they meet these three criteria. My new goals follow:
- I exercise in the morning with my wife before 7:00 am. I work out at least six times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes. I also get bonus workouts at the gym during my lunch hour. I will do this consistently for the next 30 days.
- I eat great food. It’s delicious and it fuels my body. I choose to consume food that is low in saturated fat and refined sugars. Instead I eat lots of green leafy vegetables and lean proteins. I aim to consume no more than 1,400 calories each day. In the next 30 days, I will lose 2 lbs. and drop 1/2 inch off of my waistline.
- I am a learner. I will read or listen to at least 20 books this year. I will complete at least 20 Code School or Pluralsight courses this year. This month I will listen to “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill on Audible.
- I am spiritually-minded. I pray for heavenly guidance and support. I am active in my religion and subscribe to its guiding principles. This month I will spend at least 10 minutes a day meditating.
- I am a leader. I put other people’s needs before my own. I look for opportunities to help people in need. This month I will make a charitable donate and spend time serving someone I don’t know well.
- I am financially savvy. I know the difference between needs and wants. This month I will find a way to save $15/month from our monthly expenses.
These new goals establish a baseline and affirm my core values. I will be printing them out and will put them in a picture frame next to my bed. That way the first thing I see every day is a reminder of what I need to accomplish. Every month, I will review this list and update it for the next 30 days. I will not keep this list private. By sharing it with my wife, friends and the whole Internet, I will be keeping myself accountable. I will succeed with my new year’s resolutions this year.
This post marks the beginning of this blog. LifeAwesome.com is where I will share my experiences and thoughts on how to live a more fantastic life. I will share ideas, life-hacks, products and insights. Feel free to follow along in my journey. Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions, and have a wonderful New Year!