Stop Making Resolutions Without Goals

It is that time of the year where we reflect on the past year as well as ourselves and figure out how we can improve. We proceed to make all the great resolutions to better ourselves only to abandon
them by the end of the month or, if we push it, by spring. Why is it that many of us do this at the beginning of the year? For the most part it helps feel better about ourselves. We recognize our flaws, and devise an idea on how we can become better. Also, when we make these resolutions we actually feel we can accomplish them. So why do we fail? Three main reasons: No goals, no plan, no discipline.

You have to remember that a resolution is not a goal, but a decision to do or not do something. What is needed above all else is a goal which contains both long term and short term milestones. Actually let me change that, what you need is a realistic goal which contains both long term and short term milestones. Announcing a goal, must like announcing a resolution is easy, however, to make it work you need to enact a plan of action. Let’s start with the most popular resolution, “I want to lose weight”. Great, now let’s make that a realistic goal, “I want to lose 30 pounds.” Now let’s set the long term goal with a realistic deadline. “I want to lose 30 pounds by March 2018.” Now you have a starting point, the next step is to plan.

We have all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is very true. Just because you announced your goal and when you plan on achieving it by, this will not automatically mean you will hit it. We already established the long term goal of losing 30 pounds by March of 2018. So now we need to set our short term goals. The most simplest way in this example is to simply divided the long term goal among the three months, 10 pounds per month. However, we cannot stop there. We need to devise a plan on how to achieve those short term goals. In this case it
would be to eat better and exercise. Even with those two items you need to set goals such as, getting to the gym twice a week, cutting down on portions or taking out junk food.

The final step is the most important, discipline. When you set the goal and make the plan you need to have the discipline to execute the plan. This is where the vast majority of us fail. We just lack the discipline to continue. Sure we are good to go for the first couple of weeks, but then we allow life to happen and give us excuses on why we need didn’t achieve. It is easy to fall off track. There is really no easy piece of advice to give on this. It simply breaks down to how bad do you want to achieve your goal and how much it means to you. Just remember that 10% of something is always better than 100% of nothing.

Just remember that you will hit hard times and you may fall behind, this is why we set the short term goals. If you don’t hit a milestone, don’t change the goal right away. Figure out if the plan you set is working, if not then see if you can change the plan to help you meet the goal. If you find that the plan should be working, make sure the goal you set is indeed realistic. If both the plan is good and the goal is realistic, then make sure you are executing the discipline to make the plan happen. Have a successful 2018 in all that you do.

With Respect,

Sensei Jeremy Talbott