Top 5 Resolutions and Why They Do Not Work

Top 5 Resolutions and Why They Do Not Work

The ball has dropped in Times Square and we all sail into 2014 as new versions of ourselves complete with goals that get us revved up about what we will look and feel like once we accomplish it! However… we will not accomplish those goals and here is why.

Most of the goals we set as we daringly look forth to a new chapter in our lives are unattainable because they exist in the foggy haze of a Pink Floyd album. That’s right, they would be better understood backwards.

1. Lose weight. The US is overweight, so the assumption follows that it is pretty likely that this goal will grace your top 5 in some form, whether it is to lose 5, 20 or 50 pounds or simply “get in better shape.” The error here is those are all end products to a pathway we do not commit to and many times may not even understand. If I want to lose 20 pounds I have to know how to lose one pound and commit to doing whatever that is over and over until the 20 pounds are off and THEN I have to work even harder to keep it off! Sounds exhausting, right? That’s the thing, goals have a higher nutritional value when you break it down into bite-sized portions and make a life change rather than an end-goal. It is like saying “I want a million dollars.” Awesome, how are you gonna do that, Chief?


my clothes shrank







2. Quit smoking. Another end game. You want to be that shiny version of yourself jogging without hacking up something that resembles driveway tar. You want to have a beer with your friends without joining the smoking club. Simply wanting it is not enough. You have to find a driver big enough to help you learn discipline and make sacrifices that fit your unique situation. When do you smoke? When you figure out your triggers you might just want to create a plan that avoids those hot spots like a game of mineshaft. If you know you and you create a plan that you know will work, no matter how much you hate it, success is not far off- even if it does not end up looking like you bounding down some open field like a gazelle.


new years eve smoking







3. Learn something new. How nice for you. Why do you want to? Do you want to step into that wisdom search your friends seem to be in as you talk over coffee about grandiose theories and politics or do you have something you actually want to learn? This goal is more than hazy- it just doesn’t make sense to me. You learn something new every day, whether you want to or not. You pick up new behaviors by watching others around you and you see something relatively novel that now is a part of your conception of reality, of life. Your goal would be better stead if you altered it in the most specific way and knew your motivation clearly- example: Learn beginners’ Japanese to take a trip to Asia in 2015.


pin for going to japan








4. Get out of debt/save money. I hear you. I wish my bank account bred new dollar bills just because I needed it. I mean, we created the term “underemployed” as if it were the trendy thing to do. The motivation here may seem simple but the plan needs some concrete steps and illumination. Do you know your finances? Have you cuddled up with them on a rainy day to know exactly what you have and what you can spend each month? If not, illuminate your monies, my friend. THEN set up a plan to set aside something every single week. I had a glass duck I put $20 in each week and then I was dumbfounded by the amount I had later in the year for a vacation. It’s the closest thing you can get to a money tree.

one dollar at a time






5. Spend more time with family. What does “more” mean to you and how do you really picture it? You could probably spend more time with your kids if you grounded them but is that what you are looking for? Probably not. This objective takes a little reflection to uncover exactly what you are fantasizing about- do you want a trip with the fam to explore something new together? Do you wish you had all your dinners together, talking freely about your days? Do you wish you spoke to your parents more often than once a week? This goal came from somewhere and it is your job to find out where or you will leave this little number in the fog.


yngwie j malmsteen







So that’s it, my friends. Goals are like a 1970’s album- play it backwards until you know why you want the goal, what the steps will look like to really get you to a clear objective and then make a commitment. Most of us can also benefit from a little outside accountability so consider sharing your goals with those around you. You might just find their top 5’s look a whole lot similar to yours.

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