Starting a new year the “right” way

So the new year (2018) has finally arrived. What now?

That’s a question I have been asking myself for a few days now. I’ve largely avoided making new year resolutions because those always seem to fail by about the second day.

New year resolutions fail for two specific reasons.

  1. They are overly vague
  2. They lack an overarching goal

Or to put it another way, you lack the how and the why.

A successful change in life has two things going for it. First, you know not only why you are making the change but what you hope that change will bring you. Second, you can measure your success or progress towards success.

I could vow to “eat less cake” and that is something my health would benefit from. However, I cannot do that because I do not know how much cake I eat in any given month. Therefore, I fail for having no way of knowing if I am winning.

I could vow to “walk more”. I know how little walking I do (even on days when my health might allow it). What I don’t know is why I would want to. Sure, I understand that exercise is generically good for me but what are my personal goals in that? “Be healthy” is too vague.

New year goals

Rather than setting arbitrary changes and hard limits which will only fail the moment I lose focus, I have another idea. I plan to make no plans. Instead, I am going to clarify what my existing focus is.

As the year starts I have decided to take some time to take stock of my life. Access where I am with respect to the mountain I want to climb.

By setting my sights clearly on those long-term goals I want to achieve I can set out towards them. Not with a plan, but with a definite direction in mind.

My “how” is by being clear about what I want and my “why” is because I really want it.

That’s how 2018 starts for me.

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