Why ALL Resolutions Fail (Do THIS Instead to Succeed)
Hey guys, alright, this is your year. I’m sure you’re fired up just thinking about everything you’re going to accomplish, and this time is different, this time, you’ll stick to that gym routine, you’ll write that book you’ve been holding off on, heck, maybe you’ll even take some dancing lessons. This year, you’re going to follow through with all of your commitments. This year, you’re fucking unstoppable.
Except, not really.
Ok, considering that I’m not your mom and that I care more about you being able to find success than I do about your feelings, let’s just save some time, new year resolutions literally epitomize everything that’s wrong with how we as humans approach self improvement.
In this video I’m going to give you the 3 key reasons why they don’t work and more importantly, give you 3 easy and actionable ways to actually achieve your goals – no matter how big they are – in a realistic, sustainable way.
1. Don’t ever wait to start on a goal - there is only the “now”
An expert archer sees his target, the bow bends, and the arrow flies, all in one fluid motion. He doesn’t decide to shoot and then take the shot. Rather, the goal and the follow-through are part of a single, intentional action.
I mean, just imagine if every time you ever had the idea to achieve a goal, imagine if you hadn’t waited for tomorrow, or the next week or January 1st, but instead, you started immediately? How different would your life be?
The future isn’t real, it’s not an actual thing, for most of us, it’s just a very poorly formed hypothesis. How often do we tell ourselves that we’re finally going to start that thing tomorrow, only to not start that thing when tomorrow comes. Whenever the new year rolls around, we do the same fucking thing, because a full year is a good amount of time to completely forget how we always fail.
We’re somehow convinced that because one year is ending and another is about to begin, we’re granted a blank slate. A full HP bar, yet we fail all the same, because we fail to focus on the one ability thing that moves us towards our goals, the ability to take immediate and decisive action when we know that we should.
Have a resolution you want to set for the new year? The worst thing you can do is wait for the new year to actually begin, time waits for no one.
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2. Don’t set a year-long resolution, instead set micro-goals
Not only is there nothing wrong with starting small, it’s actually the smartest way to set goals, the bigger we make our goals or the further we toss them out into the future, the further away we get from “now”, which is where we actually need to be focused.
The further into the future we set our goals, or when we tell ourselves that we’re going to commit to something for a long period of time, like an entire year, we’re dramatically increasing the likelihood that we fail. If we have a big goal we want to accomplish, we’re essentially going to war with ourselves and to win a war means winning a series of smaller battles, we can think of these smaller battles as micro goals.
For example, if we want to learn how to dance, rather than setting a new year’s resolution to commit to dancing for an hour every single day, five days a week, set a goal to spend five minutes of every day dancing, for one week and start right away.
Now, once you start dancing, it’s very likely that you’ll continue past the five minutes, but if for whatever reason, five minutes was all you could manage that day, at least you didn’t fail, this is important for building momentum, consistency is easily the most underrated word within the entire self-help space.
If you can keep up the habit for a week, now you’ve built something called confidence, which yes, I know that’s hard to believe, confidence is something you build yourself, for free, by actually doing things, and not something you buy from a ten thousand dollars confidence building workshop.
My ego used to have a difficult time setting small goals, but it became easier when I thought of them as micro goals on the path my bigger goals, so if you have a big ego, try reframing your goals in the following way.
Think of your big goals like the north star that guides the general direction of my ship and your micro goals as the land on the horizon, they’re never too far to where you can’t see them.
The only time I will set long term goals is when I’m completely unable to escape them, this brings us to the third reason why new year’s resolutions fail and what you can do instead to put yourself in the best position to accomplish your goals.
3. Set unescapable goals
The problem with most new year’s resolutions and most goals is that they’re too easily escapable. Heck, generally speaking, this is the problem with almost everything that we commit to, it’s too easy for us to weasel our way out. If we were really intent on achieving our goals, then why are we only putting one foot into the water when we make them?
I just started boxing classes about a month ago and granted I’m a pretty motivated person, after a few weeks I remember sitting down and thinking to myself “ok, I like boxing, I want to be the best that I can be, which means I need to set a goal, an inescapable goal that demands that I train as hard as I can… I know what I’ll do, I’m going to fight someone in a boxing match”.
Now as someone with a lot of experience with failing at goals, I knew that I couldn’t just set a goal like that and wait for an opponent to appear, so as soon as the decision was made, I immediately messaged my coach and told him that “I wanted to fight someone as soon as he thought I could be ready, training as hard as I possibly could”.
He told me that at two workouts per day, based on how quickly I was learning and progressing, that I could be ready within three months and that there was actually a boxing event on the 28th of February, more or less three months from that time. Now, because I’m also a maniac, I asked him to ideally that was stronger and had more experience.
The next day at class, he showed me a photo of the guy I’m going to be fighting on February 28th, and that is one scary mother fucker.
The main takeaway here is that, for me, this is inescapable. I’ve signed on the dotted line, invited friends and family, I’ll be there Feb 28th. I’ve never trained so hard and so intelligently for anything in my life, every day, I wake up thinking about this fight and how prepared I need to be and it’s like an infinite source of motivation.
And it’s not just helping me in my training, to actually have time to train as much as I need to means that I also need to execute perfectly within my business and in all other areas of my life. Because of this goal, I am improving in all of my dimensions and as a result, the absolute best version of me, in every possible sense, will be entering that ring on February 28th.
If you have a goal to run a half marathon, don’t just set the goal, try to figure out how much time you’d need to prepare under the condition that you train as hard as you can, look up events and purchase your ticket immediately, if you need to travel to the event, purchase your travel tickets as well, go online and buy the sneakers and/or equipment that you need to train, let your friends and family know, use the same external validation that urges you to do or say things to impress others to now force you to do something that will actually benefit you instead.
Don’t just tell yourself that you’re going to go all in on your goals, do everything that you possibly can to make them inescapable, to make them inevitable. No matter what the goal is, don’t just dip your feet in the water, dive in head-first, because it’s there that we discover what we’re really capable of anything less, anything less, should make it obvious to ourselves that we were never fully committed in the first place.
Alright guys so there you have it.
If you’re setting a resolution for yourself, don’t wait until January 1st to get started. Start right now, set a micro goal and do everything that you possible can to make your goal inescapable, so that it becomes inevitable.
Cheers to the new year! I’m not actually going to drink this, because I’ve got boxing training in about 10 minutes here. But you get the idea.