You read that right - I won't be making a New Year's Resolution this year.
I read an article somewhere on why you shouldn’t make a New Year's resolution and thought it made a lot of sense.
Here is the gist of what it said:
The key to accomplishing things is to create systems, not goals. What's the difference? A goal (like a resolution) is a specific end-point that you want to reach. For example, a runner's goal could be to run a marathon or a writer's goal could be to complete a book.
Your system is the strategy that you would use to achieve those goals. For the runner, it’s a training plan and for the writer, it’s a writing schedule.
What would happen if you ignored the goal entirely and only focused on the day-to-day? You'd still get results and end up be happier, too. The problem with goals is that you trick yourself into believing that once you reach that goal you'll be happy and successful. A mindset like that puts unnecessary stress and weight on your shoulders.
A better way for us to motivate ourselves in the long term is to commit to a process, not a goal or series of goals. The runner is better off leaving some workouts unfinished, if it helps them stick to a long-term schedule. The writer doesn't necessarily have to pen 1,000 words a day, as long as they sit down and write something on a regular basis.
Goals are about the short-term result. Systems are about the long-term process. In the end, long-term processes always win.
So in the spirit of using systems and not pursuing goals, consider not making a New Year's resolution this year. Instead, start a system. If you want to lose weight, move more and eat better rather setting a benchmark number of pounds to shed. If you want to read more, try getting in the habit of picking up a book after work instead of challenging yourself to get through 50 of them in the next 12 months.
That's why we shouldn't make a New Year's resolution this year - let's create a system and stick to it. Individual goals and resolutions can come and go, and can be overwhelming to achieve but a new system that we keep has the power to change our lives.