According to Forbes approximately 40% of Americans make New Years resolutions but only about 8% of people achieve them. That’s not a very encouraging statistic.
Most people who make New Years resolutions do so in an effort to change something about themselves or their lives. They want to lose weight, run a marathon, find a better job, pay down debt, have a baby, move to a new city, and so on and so forth. And these are all wonderful goals! Why then do so many people fail?
While well-intentioned, some people set unrealistic goals. Some people go hard right out of the gate that they can’t keep up with their own momentum. And for most, I’m sure, daily life winds up getting in the way of lofty goals.
In order to keep yourself on track it’s better to make a smaller list of goals and also make them achievable. To say you want to run a marathon by the end of the year never having run a day in your life is hard to accomplish (not always impossible but not easy for most). Personally I have also found that making intangible goals helps shape us into better versions of ourselves.
Instead of making new years ‘resolutions’ I set a goal list based on my age. So for this year I made a list of 31 things I want to accomplish before turning 32.
Some of the items on my list are tangible and very doable. Examples being read 20 books, run at least two 5Ks, teach two workshops, call my family more, meditate everyday, and increase my savings by a certain amount. These are goals that I can actually do specific work towards in my daily life.
On the other hand I have character building goals such as lose fear, fall in love, take down my emotional walls, love my body and appreciate what it can do, and become stronger. These are things that I have to consciously work on within myself on a daily basis but there isn’t anything about them I can see or hold. These goals are the ones that are most important to me though because they will carry me a lot farther in life.
Both types of goals can and should be celebrated upon accomplishing them. Making small lasting changes is actually a pretty big deal. Building yourself into an emotionally stronger and healthier person will give you more in life than losing 10 pounds or buying fancy clothes or taking a really expensive trip. Reaching your goals, no matter how big or small, will fill you up, ignite a fire, and push you to accomplish more and become more than you maybe ever imagined.
What’s on your list this year? Who do you want to become?