Who invented the New Year’s resolution? If Hallmark invented card-giving holidays, maybe the resolution was invented by 24 Hour Fitness?
There is nothing wrong with having large, ambitious goals – it’s just sad to see so many discarded because people don’t know where to begin. For me, the only type of New Year’s resolution that is worth making consists of small, attainable goals that result in sustainable habits.
At ReelSurfer, we always have a three-month plan and a five-year vision. It allows us to dream big and still wake up every day with a manageable list of things to do. It also helps us monitor our progress. Why don’t more people do this in their personal lives? This year, I am going to use this framework to make my three New Year’s resolutions. By sharing them publicly we can all monitor my progress together (to do so follow me on twitter).
5 Year Vision: Keep learning new skills
3 Month Plan: Write at least one new blog post every 2 weeks
Like a lot of people, I find writing something well takes lots of hard work. I survived English class because I spent countless hours proofreading and rewriting. When I wrote my first guest post for CBS Interactive a few years ago, I was terrified before submitting it. A post published on another site felt so permanent – was it good enough? I probably had 10 people proofread it and still had that roller-coaster-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling when I submitted it. To become a better writer, I must make a concerted effort to practice.
My goal is to write at least one blog post every 2 weeks to develop my own voice and become more comfortable as a writer. My hope is that after a period of 3-6 months, blogging will become a habit and I can move on to developing another skill.
5 Year Vision: Raise my emotional intelligence (EQ)
3 Month Plan: Meet one new person (face-to-face) every week
I have now lived in the bay area for almost 9 years. Most of my friends from college still live in the area and I have a tendency to stay in my comfortable social circle. While having a strong support network is amazing, having one makes me less likely to meet new people. It’s time for a change, not only from a professional standpoint (where being able to connect with all types of people is really important) but also from a personal one. I’m not sure how I am going to find all these new people (if you want to meet me leave a comment), but we’ll leave that for another post.
My goal is to meet someone new (face-to-face) every week and have at least a 15-minute conversation.
5 Year Vision: Be healthier
3 Month Plan: Bring lunch to work 3 days a week
I already do a decent job of going to the gym, but my eating habits leave much to be desired. Startup life keeps me pretty busy, so I don’t have much time to cook for myself. This means that I eat out a lot, almost 10 – 12 times a week. That is pretty outrageous considering there are only 14 opportunities to eat lunch and dinner every week. No matter how often you go to the gym, you will never be able to accomplish any health related goals by eating fast food.
My goal is to make and bring lunch to work 3 times a week. I hope this first step leads to making dinner and improving my cooking skills as well.
Please let me know what your resolutions are in the comments below. Working towards goals in groups is a great way to stay on track.
Happy New Year and to see how I do please Follow @njcar.
7 Replies to “Keep your New Year’s Resolutions by starting small”
I like an amendment about bringing lunch to work 3 times a week 😉 Fast food is just killing. I might try the same. I’m performing Aikido stretching exercises everyday to keep me healthy. I think it should be adopted more like the way of living than just a resolution. When training your brain with a good habits everyday and not forcing yourself to anything it’s the best “resolution”. Sort of speaking from my own experience.
Makes complete sense, what is Aikido stretching? Seems like a great thing to do every morning.
It’s scientifically proven that performing 20min of physical stress to your body early in the morning will result in increased intellectual ability during the rest of the day. Brain chemistry. So, for me it’s Aikido stretching exercises. It’s something like warming your body starting from head towards the legs by doing different kind of exercises. Also you might go more spiritual during the exercises and try to improve your focus and awareness of your body current positions. Think meditation and hatha yoga asanas. My point is that there is plenty of room to explore on this one in many directions later.Here is one set of exercises explained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQln25eDQFc.