It’s nearly 2014. And I suspect many of you are about to begin pursuing your New Year’s resolutions (or are at least contemplating the idea). Unfortunately, I’m here to deliver some bad news: they don’t work. Statistically, the odds are against you. In fact, a 2007 survey done in the UK found that 88% of all resolutions end in failure!
So why do we keep making them? Well, old habits die hard.
But to be perfectly honest with you, I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions. They strike me as silly. If I smoked (which I don’t), why would I wait until the New Year to “quit”? Because I don’t really want to quit and this prolongs it. It’s a form of procrastination.
If you really want to do something, do it right now—whether it’s May or October. It’s that simple. And if you’re not willing to do it right now, then, to be honest, you probably don’t want it that bad. And if you wait until the New Year, you’ll almost certainly fail.
But I will say that I do enjoy and believe in goal setting. I keep lots of lists (using apps like Clear and Evernote). In particular, I like to actively manage two sets of goals. I call them “My Progressive Goals” and “My Disciplines.”
Progressive goals are things, like the name suggests, that grow and evolve over time. For example, completing my MBA, ahead of schedule, was one of my progressive goals for 2013. Check.
My Disciplines, on the other hand, are activities that in and of themselves don’t change. They’re just things I’ve committed to doing and I use the list as both a reminder and as a way of ensuring I don’t take on too much (which I have a tendency of doing).
These are things like blogging here everyday, going to the gym regularly, and doing one big snowboard trip with the guys from Penn every year. I’ll still set progressive goals within each discipline, but the disciplines themselves stay the same. They are, after all, disciplines.
So as much as I scoff at New Year’s resolutions, I have been tuning up my goals and disciplines for 2014. Blogging became a big part of my life in 2013 and I look forward to getting better at it in the New Year. Thanks for reading Architect This City. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter.
Onwards my friends!