Think big, but act small when it comes to your New Year’s resolutions

Well, my friends, it’s that time of year. Time to set your New Year’s resolutions.

This is a task that is often filled with a mix of excitement and, let’s be honest, anxiety. We know we need to make some changes, but when we look back at previous New Year’s resolutions, we see more failure than success. But, don’t fret! There’s usually just one reason why we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions: We think big, we act big, and we miss big. 

Let’s look at some examples:

I want to lose 50 pounds this year!

I will quit smoking this year!

I will run a marathon this year!

I will give up all red meat this year!

See a trend? These are all great New Year’s resolutions, however, they are also some mighty big ones too. So, let me ask you just one question:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely do you think it is that you will keep your New Year’s resolution?

If you answered with an 8 or above, then go for it! You’re fired up. You’re motivated! And, you’ve set a goal that you feel confident you can commit to achieving. If you answered 7 or less–or perhaps even a 2 or a 3–then let’s look at setting something that a) gets you on the same path of your bigger goal, but b) starts out with something more achievable:

I want to lose 10 pounds by March 31st!

I will cut back smoking to less than 10 cigarettes a day this year!

I will run a 5K by summer!

I will eat lean red meat just once a week!

Now, on that same 1 to 10 scale, how confident do you feel about achieving your goal? Very likely, you’re much closer to a 10, right?

Setting a New Year’s resolution is often something we do with only the BIG picture in mind. Don’t lose sight of it, but start with a smaller goal that you have greater confidence in achieving. Then, when you achieve it–either by the Spring or perhaps it takes the full year–set a new goal. Lose 10 more pounds, switch to a nicotine patch, etc.

2020 is upon us and while it is indeed a time to see your big goals clearly, it’s okay to start with something more achievable, less anxiety-inducing, and even, dare I say it, a little more myopic. 😉

Pass it on...