I don’t think there is a better example out there of a holiday you shouldn’t take seriously than New Year’s. And I don’t mean the celebration itself. Go out, go nuts and have yourself a day.
But when you wake up, (likely hungover) on the first and reach for the water, it shouldn’t be in an existential funk.
We put far too much pressure on ourselves to create New Year’s resolutions that are a far cry from the people we can actually become. If you’ve hardly worked out in your entire life, then in what scenario will you start hitting the gym five days a week?
This rarely happens, simply because we set the bar too high. The goal shouldn’t be to suddenly become an amazingly fit person or have an amazing relationship or business success out of the blue.
Instead, there should be more of a subtle, daily approach to improving yourself.
Like writing a sentence a day journal on what you accomplished that day, or as esteemed blogger James Altucher swears by, write down ten ideas per day.
Maybe a workout goal could look more like doing 20 push-ups or riding the bike every day.
But in addition, I don’t think the goal should be for a set time-frame, like 30 days or one year.
I think it should just be to do it. Every day. You shouldn’t even give your mind the chance to consider a date where you get to give up. Especially if you’re enjoying the success and reaping the benefits.
The 30 day challenges kill me. What happens on day 31? It’s not that these challenges are bad for you. They’re very good for your health and overall well-being if you stick to them. However, you need to have a plan in place. If there is no plan in place, then as expected on day 31 you will simply stop working out (especially if you were someone who had no regular workout regimen before the challenge).
If the plan is simply to do it EVERY DAY you won’t allow for this drop-off, not to mention it will just become part of your routine. Besides, a broad goal like 30 minutes of cardio means that you don’t have to do p90x every day, you can substitute with running or an elliptical.
The worst-case scenario in any New Year’s resolution would be to have a goal so specific that it not only gets monotonous, but also doesn’t allow you to consider a substitute when you are far too sick of the specific task.
Whether it’s working out, starting a business, becoming more creative or just working on yourself, keep it simple and stick to it.