You cannot make a goal to fix ALL your flaws
Name one person you know who made a commitment to improve themselves and then fixed every single problem in their life once and for all?
Don’t worry; I’ll wait.
The problem with resolutions isn’t only that they are hard to achieve, that the stats are against you for long-lasting weight loss, that you need to create time & energy you don’t have to hit the gym, etc. However, these things do factor in.
It’s just not feasible or practical to become perfect; Or even near perfect.
There is a cost-benefit to all your goals and dream habits. Literally. For example, I don’t usually write year-end posts. It’s not a habit of mine. So to even get the energy to write this thing I drank an extra cup of coffee, stayed up late on two nights, and worked during three of my breaks.
But wait, there’s more —
I also set a time limit on the first draft, outline, and edit. I believe it was 15/20/8… I had to gamify it because I am reluctant to do anything that isn’t required of me… just like you!
I believe you and I, separately, can achieve great things. But all those great things will occur after paying real, specific costs. Sometimes it’s integrity; sometimes it’s time with your family. Sometimes it’s staying sober, and sometimes it’s not staying sober. There is nothing you want that doesn’t come without a sacrifice. Particularly a sacrifice that is uncomfortable to give.
You’re never gonna be perfect. So just get that out of your head and your book of resolutions. A lot of these types of articles like to give positive, tactical advice on what you can actually do to improve your new year. Most likely you’ve read hundreds of these. So why add to it?
Okay, let’s add to it. One of my favorite tricks for dealing with mandatory yet unpleasant events is something I call “Sandwiching.” Sandwiching just means that I like to plan something important/fun/tedious/relaxing before AND after a nerve-wracking event.
Having an introductory dinner with the mother-in-law? Workout before the dinner and schedule a doctor’s appointment after. This will also allow you to leave early ;)
Crazy interview coming up? Run some errands before and watch a movie after. Just keeping yourself focused on “the next thing” will make the current “thing” way less stressful.
I don’t know if that suggestion relates to this article, but I’d thought I‘d tell you anyway…
Yea, monitor your habits to see what you actually do during the day. Monitor what actually triggers your effed-up behaviors. Then you can implement whatever tactics you found in a self-help article, but first, remember
You ain’t never gonna be perfect!
And, let’s be real. If you are in the top 10% of your field, I bet your family life sucks. If you have an extremely low body fat percentage, you are probably obsessed with health and have some type of body dysmorphia. If you have a near-perfect GPA, your mental health suffers. If you have a great social life, your career will take a hit. You’re not perfect, and that is okay! Actually, imperfection is your ONLY choice in life.
Achieving your goals will mean constant suffering with few moments of euphoria. Then, once you reach the goal, the maintenance of said goals will be wrought with equally torturous peaks and valleys. Are you ready?
There is a direct and indirect correlation between failure in one area and success in another. So your personal value system has to kick in and choose what to prioritize. Please do that! But, your values can’t be “all the things; all the time.” It doesn’t work like that, sweetie.
We aren’t Sophia the Robot. Willpower decreases from the afternoon onward. We only have 24 hours a day, and those hours come with plenty of limits.
Do what you can, tally up your tactics, sandwich scary things, and see what the year will bring you!
Lemme know how it works out? Kay?