Thomas R Alexander

Manager, Developer, and professional problem solver

A New Year, No Reservations.

Last year, I made several New Years resolutions. Heck, I even partially achieved some of them. While it was motivating to have resolutions, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are really just large-scale goals that we try to cram into one year. This creates unintended pressure that actually works against us. For example, in July (if we haven’t already  forgotten about our resolutions),  we panic because we said we’d lose weight and instead, we have actually gained. Can we hurry up and lose weight in six months? Human nature says that when we are backed into a corner and pressured, we panic and run away (and not toward our goals). My one RESOLUTION this year is not to make any.

My goals
A resolution is a goal. Some goals have timelines, others happen with effort over time. Goals are important in life. Without goals, we lack achievement. Without achievement, we lack happiness. Why do you think video games are popular? We experience victory and overcome challenges and it makes us feel good!

It’s important to me to focus on the following things in life over the course of this new year and beyond.

1) Treat my fiance like a queen
2) Get married!
3) Develop good habits
4) Strengthen friendship
5) Find my career path

Break it down
Here’s another problem: we often leave our “resolutions” or goals very high-level and abstract and never define how we intend on achieving them. The best example is the famous resolution, “I’m going to lose weight.” Right now, thousands of gym memberships are being established and those people are on their way to achieve their goal. However, once they fall off the wagon and skip a few days at the gym, do they have a back up plan? Did they plan to change their eating habits? How are they measuring that? It is the great detail that we put into our goals that has a greater determination of success.

I am going to spend the next day or so establishing tiny steps for each of my goals so I can visualize what I need to do.

Don’t make resolutions. Make goals. Remember, a goal is not a statement, it’s a chapter in a book and it does not necessarily have to be achieved within the year.

Happy New Year everyone!

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