I could have posted this before the first of the year, before you sat down to create resolutions for 2017. I didn’t for two reasons:
- Most wouldn’t have read it until now anyway because everyone is distracted by holidays.
- I wanted to make sure you would sit down to create some resolutions, because it’ll be more powerful to scrap them than to not write any at all.
I know the list you made is meaningful to you and you’re going to want to hold on to it because it feels good, but read these with an open mind and hold any decisions until you reach the end…
One. Resolutions, my friend, are a distraction. They’re a way for you to feel good about yourself, feel like you’re committing to something, and feel like you’re creating forward momentum…without actually doing anything. In fact, people who make resolutions already feel a sense of accomplishment after making the list (which is why a lot of people do it and then never do anything with it). It’s a cop out.
Two. If you were serious about reaching whatever goals you have, you would have made a resolution at some point before now. Instead, you’re choosing some arbitrary date that feels good in your mind the same way “starting on Monday” feels good in people’s minds. You already know what I think about starting on Monday.
This is nothing more than playing psychological tricks on yourself. If you really want something, start working towards it immediately. There’s no point in setting some random starting point in the future. None. Just f-cking do it already. Show yourself and others that you’re serious through your behavior, not through scribbling down your intentions.
Three. Perhaps you’ll argue that you have been serious about this goal in the past–you just haven’t been successful–and with the start of this New Year you’re going to “buckle down” and “refocus.” That’s fantastic, except a resolution isn’t going to help you. It didn’t help you the first time and it won’t make any difference now.
What matters is simply doing the work. You know what the goal is. You know what you want to accomplish. Why aren’t you doing the work already?
Four. Your resolutions probably suck. This is just statistical fact, especially in the health and fitness industry. Most people are going to make resolutions like, “work out 6 days per week for an hour a day,” or “only eat 1600 calories a day until I lose 40 pounds,” and so on. Even worse, they’ll write down something lazy and generic like, “I resolve to lose weight!”
These resolutions are hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. This isn’t even something I’ll entertain a debate on. It’s 100% f-cked. These kinds of goals are a reflection of listening to really bad advice on both health and goal-setting.
Let me even go a step further. Having no goals is way better than setting goals like this. There, I said it.
Five. New Years resolutions are almost always about achieving something at some point in the future (and the benefits that come with it). If you’re like 99% of humanity, you probably still think this is a good strategy. It’s not.
Humans are hard-wired to choose present gratification over future gratification. When you set goals that don’t bring benefits until some point in the future, you volunteer for a daily struggle with your programming and you create a need for willpower and discipline (two more things you think you need, but that cause failure).
In Total Body Reboot, we coach our clients on identifying and leveraging the immediate benefits they are going to get from the habits and behaviors they’re going to engage in on the journey to getting and keeping a body and life they love. Leveraging the benefits of what you’re doing day-in and day-out is a critical piece of the success puzzle.
What are you going to do now?
Are you still considering clinging to that list you made? If so, I’m afraid you can kiss the first quarter of 2017 goodbye because you’re going to spend it mired in failure and frustration.
Toss the list (hey, that makes a great hashtag — #tossthelist). Instead, sit down and take inventory of where you’re at in life. What parts feel unfulfilling to you? What parts feel unfinished? What parts feel like they’re not working? What are your strengths? What are you excited about?
As you take inventory like this, passion will start to emerge. The behaviors needed to meet those passions will automatically become clear to you. At this point, I highly recommend investing in a coach/mentor to guide you. Passion is not a path. It’s just fuel.
That fuel you can take you in any number of directions. Getting a coach/mentor will make you far more likely to spend that fuel on a productive path.
Side note: If you’re not willing to invest in yourself in order to fulfill these passion areas, then you’re not serious about them. It’s as simple as that. You’re just not serious enough…yet.
So, that’s it my friend. Will you #tossthelist? Let me know in the comments below or put a selfie on Instagram of you tossing the list with that hashtag so we can see you in action!