Try Less Dream, More Resolution

Here’s nonsense at work.

Last week, I suggested you give your goals more meaning by focusing on the outcome you want. If you don’t feel like ready that post again, here’s a simple example to show what I mean:

Do you wash dishes to get them clean (planned goal)? Or do you clean them to prevent food poisoning the next time you use them (desired outcome)? The first one is about getting the task done. The second one is about how well you do the task.

The same idea applies to making resolutions.

(Unless, like me, you have resolved not to make resolutions.)


Put less dream into your resolutions and more resolution into your actions

Another year, another bumper sticker: May your bad luck last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.

Many of us had bad luck last year and so I hope that this bumper sticker applies to us. But then again, some of us had bad luck because we did not stick to last year’s resolutions.

I wonder, why do New Year’s resolutions seldom stick around longer than the hangover created at the same time? Is it because our resolutions are unrealistic? The implementation too painful? Our memories conveniently faulty?

Here’s what I think.

New Year’s resolutions don’t stick because the act of making the resolution has more significance than the resolution itself. We put too much meaning into making a resolution and too little resolution into our actions.

Today holds less ritualistic pressure than the first of the year. Rework your resolutions. Put less emphasis on symbolic intention and more on resolute action.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.