Here’s Why I’m Failing At My New Year’s Non-Resolutions

I started the year well.

I really did.

I told myself that I wouldn’t have the quintessential resolutions since they don’t push me — it’s more like they discourage me. I even had an entire explanation for it. I was going to live the year by following just seventeen short pieces of advice. No resolutions. Just those.

They rang in my head as well as any motivational mantras could. And in doing so, they gave birth to “non-resolutions”. You know, the kind I didn’t make but I still wanted to accomplish.

But then the year began. And life as we know it happened.

I began failing at my non-resolutions. In epic proportions. Actually, I still am.

And there are a lot of reasons why. But here are the four biggest ones.

1. I’m not waking up earlier

Note, I said “earlier” not “early”. This is because I have come to the realisation that I’m not really a morning person. I do most of my best work at night. Late nights, as a matter of fact. So waking up super early is not exactly my thing.

What I was meaning to strive for this year was to wake up earlier. Earlier than 8 or 9am so that I can effectively prepare for the day. Earlier so that I can have “longer” days to toy with.

But none of that’s been happening.

The recovery strategy:

Try to get up 10 minutes earlier each day until I reach my ideal wake-up time.

And definitely figure out a way to re-engineer my exceptional snoozing abilities.

2. I’m not nourishing my brain enough

As much as I read when I can, watch TED talks when on a break, subscribe to a gazillion podcasts, and register for coding courses, I still feel like I am not nourishing my brain enough.

And its true. I am not.

I could read much more. Actually, I bet I have enough time in my days to read a book a week.

I could utilize Youtube a bit better instead of watching a bunch of “useless” videos each day. I mean, there are TED Talks, educational clips, language learning shows- just to name a few. There’s so much knowledge sitting in thousands over thousands of Youtube videos out there.

I could listen to a lot more podcasts that can help me think differently.

The recovery strategy:

Utilise every free moment I have to learn something new. I can’t always listen to music while working. I could switch it up with a podcast, an audio book, a TED talk or an educational video.

3. I’m making up excuses

I can’t write today because I am busy.

I can’t go the gym because it’s too far and it’ll take too much of my time.

I can’t do that coding lesson today because it’s the weekend.

These are all excuses that I love. And they are all full of BS.

You see, I make them to make myself feel better about not doing what I should be doing. I make them to accomodate my laziness and lack of self-discipline.

The recovery strategy:

Trick my brain into thinking something bad is going to happen if I don’t do what I am making up excuses for. For example, if I don’t write today, I will slowly lose any abilities I have to put my thoughts into words. Or if I dont go to the gym this week or this month, my cholesterol levels might begin to shoot up (again).

4. I don’t have micro-goals

I only have lofty non-resolutions. And they are too large and too far away for my brain to grasp.

But it’s not just the non-resolutions. I also have an Impossible List. A list of huge things I want to do over the next few years. But I’ll never be able to achieve any of it if I don’t have micro-goals leading towards each item.

According to Nick Johansen’s Brain Hacking: A super quick guide to working smart & getting things done (amazing book, by the way), micro-goals help chart progress and simplify a skill. They can be daily or weekly.

And I have exactly zero written down.

Sure, they are floating away somewhere in my head — write 200 words a day, write one blog post a week or do 5 minutes of Duolingo Spanish a day — but that’s of no use. If they are not on paper, they are likely to poof away and be forgotten forever.

The Recovery Strategy:

Simply write down my goddamn micro-goals!

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Have you been following through with your own resolutions or non-resolutions? Or have you already forgotten they exist? Share your thoughts in the comments section below :)

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This post first appeared on the personal blog: www.akumu.me/blog