Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If you did, there’s a good chance you’ve already broken it – or them.
There’s something about a new year that gives us hope for self improvement. The chance to correct all the mistakes we’ve made so far. The opportunity to be more than you were and closer to the perfection you envision. No pressure.
And then it all falls apart in a few weeks or, if you’re especially motivated, a few months.
The most common resolutions are:
– get fit/lose weight/be healthier
– quit smoking
– quit drinking
– spend more time with the family/work less
– get out of debt
– learn something new
– get organized/declutter
Been there done that? And how’d it turn out for you?
How about an alternative?
Set SELFISH GOALS.
What’s the difference you may ask.
– resolutions are big sweeping changes, selfish goals are little things to do just for you.
– resolutions can feel onerous and overwhelming, selfish goals can be fun and rewarding.
– resolutions are often a result of societal pressure like being a certain size while selfish goals come from a desire and passion to be and express your best self.
The difference can be subtle. Let’s break down selfish goals vs resolutions to make it clearer.
RESOLUTION: get fit/lose weight
SELFISH GOAL: What are the things you love to do anyway that you’ve dropped out of your life for various reasons? Try something like this on for size. I love to walk in nature. I’m going to set a goal to walk a minimum of three times a week. OR I love to dance. I’m going to take a dance class. There is no reference to weight or fitness. It’s about doing things you love which will have the surprising outcome of making you healthier.
RESOLUTION: quit smoking/drinking
SELFISH GOAL: Ask yourself WHY do you want to quit? If its because you should or someone is pressuring you, be prepared to fail. If it’s because you have a deep desire to live better and healthier, then break it down further. What will you be able to do/enjoy more when you’ve succeeded in quitting? Set goals around those things and it will give you motivation for the big quit.
RESOLUTION: spend more time with family.
SELFISH GOAL: This can be tricky. One aspect of Selfish Goals is they are about YOU. Setting a selfish goal that involves someone else can defeat the purpose. Often when we set goals that involve others we get defeated if they’re not on the same page. Ex: I want to go to Paris with my husband but if he hates to travel or can’t stand French people,will you let that stop you from going to Paris? SOLUTION: Before setting any family goals, find out what they want as well. Be sure to know what you want so that you don’t go along with the desires of others just to make peace. Now mesh the priorities of everyone as best you can. If they don’t want to be part of this goal, you may need to find other ways to satisfy this desire. Be prepared to be creative. Also realize that you need self time as well. Make sure your whole life isn’t wrapped around your family – especially you ladies!
RESOLUTION: get out of debt
SELFISH GOAL: Less debt is a noble goal. Unless you have a clear reason to get out of debt other than you “should”, it will never happen and will feel like a burden. Without the weight of debt around your neck, what would you be able to do? Travel? Buy better clothes? Give to charity? Set the selfish goals of what you will do when the debt is gone and remarkably the debt will shrink.
RESOLUTION: learn something new
SELFISH GOAL: What do you want to learn? Be very clear about the end result you want. Do you want to do something creative? Are you leaning toward something academic? Do you want to work alone or in a group? How much time/money are you willing to spend? Once you answer these questions, you can look for things that satisfy your needs. Being selfish in this way will guarantee a higher level of success with your endeavor. Most of all, be sure you’re having fun with it!
RESOLUTION: get organized
SELFISH GOAL: Why do you want to get organized? The why will help with the how. Cleaning out your closet is an onerous job. But when you do it to make room for new clothes, it feels more exciting. Organizing your office seems like the worst job ever. But when you do it knowing that you will feel more creative, it gives you energy. Always look for the why and the how will come. Being selfish in this way will create more motivation.
A University of Bristol study ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Bristol ) suggests that 88% of people fail their resolutions. Not very encouraging. Change to Selfish Goals that bring you joy, feed your passion, ramp up your energy and in general make you feel great, you will succeed.
Have fun being selfish!
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty