You finally made the decision to do something about those goals you have had for some time, congrats! In some ways, all you needed was a benchmark. It took a disastrous (or maybe just subpar) 2017 to propel you forwards towards “your year”. If you are like most people, a lot of your reflection took place over the course of December where you dissected and analyzed all of the highs and lows of the previous 300+ days, looking at each decision under a microscope. It was simple for you to make these changes all along and now there is this beautiful clean slate on which you may draw….until January hits.
Most resolutions fail and it’s obvious why…they just aren’t good enough. To only resolve or to “make a firm decision to do or not do something” is to believe that everything we do is based purely on decision-making. When we decide not to go work out, it is a choice that is made without outside influences? Just about everything we do is at the opportunity cost of something else. When you take an hour to work out and drive to the gym, you lose 90 minutes of something; be it sleep, cooking, TV time, or more.
Instead of “I want Right Before to grow in 2018” the better statement would be “I want Right Before to increase its readership by 100% and Social media following by 200% driven by increased directed content to our audience and allocation of funds towards marketing spend”. Without thinking about the “how” in December, you are already behind the 8-ball starting in January. You see, going to the gym is all fun and games until you never projected the influx of people there, your limited knowledge of working out, the increased nutritional requirements that come with it, the time it takes to drive/change/shower/and warmup.
- A Plan- Plans are not constructed overnight. They do not also come with one layer to them. The best plans consider a lot of different variables and prepare for them accordingly. Plans do not have to be followed by the letter, but they should at least be written down in order to draw upon when the inevitable obstacle comes about. A well-formed goal is very concrete, detailed, and results are measurable so that you can make adjustments to truly incite or increase your progress. If your resolution is a sentence long, it probably doesn’t have the backup needed in order to be attainable.
- Short Term Goals- To say that 2018 will be the end of something, or the beginning of something else makes it very much an all or nothing proposition. For example, my goal was to “stop drinking soda in 2018”. The minute I screw up and take my first sip, I have immediately broke my resolution. Instead I could have imagined:
- Drinking no more than 4 sodas over the course of January
- Drinking no more than 3 sodas over the course of February
- No soda in March
- A middle ground- Every goal should not be pass/fail. If my resolution is to “increase readership by 25,000 people by creating more content and building more relationships”, honestly 22,000 would still be an A. 18-19k increase in readership might still be a B. 10-15k might feel nowhere near the goal, but it’s passing. Consider your goal as the ultimate success or an A+, but perhaps allow yourself some wiggle room just like the classroom. Nobody wants to “plan for failure” but if you set yourself some ranges it’ll feel a lot better in December of next year when you are measuring your success. For a goal to be really worth your time, you must move towards something you do want, rather than just move away from something you don’t want. A good goal is set in the positive, moving you towards becoming something you want to become, not away from something you no longer want to be.
2017 was a shitty year for Right Before. We resolved to grow, and we did. I resolved to pray more (I did, but not enough). I wanted to stretch more ( I did not stretch any at all before so I couldn’t lose there). I wanted to workout more than I did the previous year (I didn’t track workouts so I may or may not have reached this goal). Last but not least, I wanted to read more (which I did, but left another 4-5 books unread because of laziness). All in all, the year was filled with failures. I did not reach my full potential and that will be something that I regret. Stronger resolutions would have stopped the downward spiral before it really took flight.