The Right Way to Fail a New Year’s Resolution

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Happy 2016 from Bali! I thought I would send a quick message to help you navigate any resolutions you might have made for this year.

Too many people are met with utter shock on January 1st when they discover that they still hate running, and that vegetables taste the same as they did the day before. And when they fail to meet their daily goals a few weeks later, they feel that yet again, they have missed their chance to live happily ever after, and need to wait another 300+ days (until January 1st of the following year) to get another shot. And any effort in the meantime would be meaningless.

From The Awkward Yeti, by Nick Seluk
From The Awkward Yeti, by Nick Seluk

When we feel we have a fresh start, we can often become more interested in the game of having done something perfectly than we are in genuine self-improvement. We’re looking for a quick ego boost rather than the growth that will bring lasting self-esteem.

So how do we actually make changes? And more importantly, what do we do when we fall off course? Here is the right way to fail a New Year’s resolution.

1. Whenever you find yourself internalizing a failure, stop it.

There is a distinct difference losing and being a loser. The moment you wear your failures like a badge, you have solidly eliminated any possibility of ever achieving your goals. Divorce your identity from the outcomes of your actions.

2. Train yourself to feel new in every moment so that you can build new momentum at any time. Time is a continuum, so you have an infinite number of chances to start fresh.

You don’t have to wait until January 1st, or your birthday, or the next full moon to try again. If you’ve fallen off course, don’t beat yourself up over it, but course correct and keep going immediately.

3. When you experience resistance towards your goals, do the easy thing.

“Shoot for the stars” is actually terrible advice for changing your long-term habits because when you put too much pressure on yourself, you will naturally want to give up. Even if it’s the most pitiable, embarrassingly minimum goal, just do that and don’t let yourself off the hook. You will build consistency this way.

Remember that you always have the ability to change any aspect of your life. That said, let’s make 2016 our best year yet!

Much love,

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