The Anti-New Year’s Resolution

Posted: January 2, 2015 by dannytwoguns in Articles

Yesterday I posted about why you should be a Quitter in 2015. A quick excerpt, “Quitting is powerful. And if you look at the vast majority of successful people, they had to quit the things that they were doing that they werent passionate about to find their true passion. People who reached their goals in 2014 and before, had to quit the habits that were holding them back from their goals before they could succeed.”

So that is your first step in the Anti-New Year’s Resolution and all of this. Make it a point to quit the things that are not serving you and be damn proud to do it, because before you can succeed, you first have to quit the things that are making you not able to succeed. Seems obvious but it is often overlooked.

So what the hell is the Anti-New Year’s Resolution?

Well, 2015 is here. Regular gyms will be packed for January, half packed for February and back to normal in March. The “health food” sections of the supermarkets will follow the same trend, empty in January, half empty in February and back to fully stocked and normal in March.

Go to the Gym

And there will be New Year’s Resolutions that follow the same trend. Well meaning and motivated in the beginning and non existent by March 1st. And it isn’t your fault. It is the institution of the New Year’s Resolution that sets you up to fail. So I propose we implement…

The Anti-New Year’s Resolution

I want to start a revolution with the “Anti-New Year’s Resolution. Those that know me (or got a hint from the above haha) know I am not a fan at all of the overly clichéd New Year’s Resolutions. I love responsibly setting goals, I love striving to be better at whatever it is you desire to be better at, I love breaking barriers you never thought you could, I love growing and evolving as a person – I believe it is all integral to success.

But you don’t need the start of a new calendar year to do so. You don’t even need a Monday to do so. (Side note – I never understood the “I’ll start my diet/exercise program/etc on Monday” thing. No – start it today and do it forever…) Anyway, it is in my opinion and I have no research or anything to back this up, but I believe that goals are actually less likely to be accomplished when they are manifestations of a New Year’s Resolution than otherwise. When someone makes a “New Year’s Resolution” – it almost always implies that it will last until maybe the end of February and then fade into whatever your go to excuse is whether that be too busy/not enough time, not enough money, not enough whatever.

Stronger

It sets you up for failure basing a goal around an arbitrary frame of reference like a new year starting. This happens for a couple of reasons. The first is that successful goals needs to start because you have a goal that is important to you with a strong “why” behind it – not because a new year started and you are “supposed to”.

And second is that starting it at the beginning of year subconsciously (or sometimes intentionally) makes you think that the end date is 12 months away and you “have the whole year” to do it. This isn’t a good thing for accountability as it allows you to continuously put it off until it simply doesn’t happen. Some goals are suited for 12 months in duration, but not necessarily fat loss or body transformation goals, you need to break them down into shorter/smaller wins overall.

A task will expand to the time you allow it to. This is true for productivity in daily life and it is true for goals as well. I experience this all the time, especially with things like marketing and blogging. If I give myself two-three hours to write, I’ll write a blog in that two-three hours but if I had given myself only an hour, I still would have gotten that blog done in the hour because I would have known there was a deadline and worked within it rather than knowing I have more time and the task expands to that timeframe. Everyone has stories from when they were in school where they waited until the last minute on an assignment and still got the work done in time because all urgency and hard work was based around that specific deadline.

Alright, Dan so goals are good but New Year’s Resolutions are inefficient so what do I do?

I propose the “Anti-New Year’s Resolution(s).” If it happens to coincide with the start of 2015 or the calendar year, so be it, it doesn’t matter because we will set it up for success regardless. The key is the preparation, accountability throughout and your “why’. When your “why” is strong enough, the how is a lot easier.

First, pick a measurable/trackable goal that will be accomplished 3, 6 or even 12 months from the day you start it (let that day be today not Monday 🙂 ) and then the key is to reverse engineer that goal into what you have to do each month to be able to achieve it. Since you have the end date in mind, it will be less likely to fade after the “new year buzz” has worn off but breaking it down into smaller goals met will always keep the goals at top of mind and continue progress because you will frequently be accomplishing goals.

The typical New Year’s Resolution of “get back in shape” or “lose 20 pounds” sets you up to fail because it doesn’t do the aforementioned. But an Anti-New Year’s Resolution of – “Lose 20 pounds in 3 months, losing 7 pounds a month by working out 3-4x a week each week in order to get more energy to feel better overall, accomplish more at work and serve my family better” sets you up for success.

You can do this with one major goal or you can do it with one goal from each aspect of your life. The key is to not throw too many changes in at once. Research has shown that as you increase the amount of changes you do at one single time, the success rate decreases. So master one and progress to the next.

A good and easy example as well as a personal example from me that I will be doing is reading. I used to read a lot more than I do now and enjoy it immensely, both from the process of doing so and how much I learn from them as well as how they help my business, my perspective and give me ideas for writing and helping people.

But what has happened recently is I’ve bought far more books over the last year or three that I have been able to feasibly read, as well as not prioritizing reading in my time – so one of my Anti-New Year’s Resolutions is to read the books I have bought but never got a chance to read. This is a good 12 month goal for me, though for most goals I like smaller time frames like 3 or 6 months for the tasks expanding reason I mentioned above. But regardless of time it is all in the reverse engineering because Im able to chunk it down into smaller goals within the bigger goal.

2015 Books

This is my “Unread Books” Pile.

How I am reverse engineering it is to take the total amount of books I have (16) and the total amount of time I have (12 months) which results in me having to read 1.25 – 1.5 books per month. Since I know I want to read about 1.5 books per month, that is about 1 every 3 weeks and depending on the book it usually takes me 2-3 weeks to read one so I have to set out a certain number of hours each week in order to do that and every week I accomplish that, I have a little win toward my goal. And each book completed is another win.

I also know that if 3 weeks has passed and I haven’t finished a book, I need to reassess and get back on track. Instant accountability.

The same thing works with fitness and fat loss. If you want to get into X dress size, get to X bodyfat or weigh X amount (though the scale is the least important tracking measure), give yourself a timeframe depending on how far you have to go (let’s say 6 months) and then break it down to what that means each month and then break that down into how much you are going to workout each week and accomplish each goal weekly by hitting your target workouts and tracking how you are progressing toward the goal. Track, reassess, repeat.

Then, the goal is “to keep the goal the goal” and accomplish your Anti-New Year’s Resolution through consistency because you built a goal that was centered around you and why you want that goal, not an arbitrary time of year and then reverse engineered it so it was always top of mind and you were always progressing to that goal.

So what is your Anti-New Year’s Resolution?

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