As I write this post, most people are already starting to give up on their new year's resolutions. It is believed that most people forget their new year resolutions after 36 days (Source). That is slightly over a month. So literally, most people will have forgotten their new year resolutions by 5th February. Year after year several people keep making and breaking their new year resolutions by the time they get to the second month. There are several reasons why this keeps happening but one of the main reasons is the resolutions are not set with the long term view of your life. We set them with short term ambition in sight and not our entire life plan in mind. Here are 3 reasons why I strongly recommend that you focus on setting life goals instead of new year resolutions:
It enables you to focus on the long term view of your life and not just one year: Seven years ago in 2016, I decided to suspend setting new year resolutions. I used to set new year resolutions and even though I used to achieve some of them by the end of the year, I just wasn’t making the desired progress I wanted to make in my life. At that point, I decided to suspend new year resolutions altogether and I decided to start working on my life goals instead. I spent some time reflecting on and writing down what I want to do and achieve with my life. I took a long term view of my life, thought through what I wanted to do and created my life vision, and then I set life goals around this. Most people cringe when they hear the word vision but this morning I just heard the simplest definition for the word vision. “Vision is your desired future.” In my reflection, I broke down the various dimensions of my life i.e. health, career, finances, spirituality etc. I then set life goals which I break annually. So, with my vision at hand, I simply ask, what can I do this year that will move me closer towards achieving my life’s goals.
You will become more intentional about your life and personal growth: I have found that planning your year based on your life goals and not just simply new year resolutions we set in December when we get excited about the new year helps one to be more international about pursuing the most important things in their lives. The focus is more on things that are going to get them to their desired future and not just short term ambitions which may not necessarily help you grow as a person even though you met them.
You will experience faster personal growth: Finally, I can testify that I have been able to experience faster personal growth with this approach than when I did new year resolutions.. Each year, I make incremental growth and development towards the achievement of my life’s goals and with this I get to experience the magical powers of compounding. My growth has been compounding over the years and as such, I have been able to achieve many more things in the last 7 years of my life than what I achieved in the years before that.
My encouragement to you is to set your new year goals based on your vision and bigger life goals and not just on the thoughts and ideas that come up in your mind towards the end of the year.