The Problem With New Years Resolutions - Think Deep

The Problem With New Years Resolutions

We all cringe instinctively when we hear people say their new year’s resolutions.


For the most part, we know they’ll fall off the wagon by the second week, but there’s an underlying current to that whole concept that we know deep down inside that results in the failing of keeping those resolution.

What is that underlying current?

It’s the “When, then” philosophy.

WHEN this happens in the outside world, THEN I’ll do something.

In this case, WHEN it becomes January 1st, THEN I’ll set some goals I want to achieve during the new year.

Now think about this.

If you’re applying the when, then philosophy to JUST the setting of the goals, how much more will you apply the when, then philosophy to the actual DOING of the goals?

Yes, I know the whole point of New Year’s resolutions is the whole bit about the “start with a clean slate” idea but again, that echoes the when, then philosophy.

It’s a failed model because you’re always going to be relying on some external thing to do something.

Let’s think this through.

You set your resolutions.

You’re ready to take your first action.

But things have to be “right” first.

And let’s say by some miracle, all the stars aligned for you to take your very first action.

And it took a couple of months for that to happen.

Let me ask you a question.

How long before ALL the stars are aligned AGAIN for you to take your second action?

And your third?

And your forth?

It might take you several years before you take 4 concrete action steps.

Sounds pitiful but that’s the case for a lot of people.

Take the typical example of the whole losing weight resolution that people make.

They want to lose weight but first, they have to do their research on which gym to sign up for.

Also how to exercise.

And what to eat.

Maybe conduct interviews for a personal trainer.

But wait, pay off all credit card debt first before hiring a personal trainer.

Maybe wait until they get a more stable job to pay for the expenses associated with losing weight.

Ask people which weight loss program is the best.

And on and on and on.

Here’s what a person who is free from the when, then philosophy would do.

Date: August 21, 2010 (random non new year date)

“I got to lose weight.”

Goes to gym immediately, signs up, gets a free session with a personal trainer.

Exercises, goes home, feels great.

Goes the next day.

Meets a person who is also exercising there.

That person turns them on to a great book or DVD that expands on some concepts to losing weight. That person goes and buys it at the bookstore. Reads and applies.

Goes to the gym the next day, meets that person, thanks him/her for the information.

Those two people become gym buddies.

They start losing weight together, supporting one another.

By the time January 1st, 2011 hits, they’re already more than halfway there toward their ideal weight goal while the vast majority of other people are JUST STARTING by setting their ideal weight goals on that date.

You get my drift here?

The when, then model is failed from the start.

Life is never going to be “clean” everyday for you to start doing something.

There are way too many moving parts.

Throw yourself in it and you’ll pick up what you need along the way.

Believe in the power of boldness.

There’s magic in starting bold, regardless of whatever is out there, regardless of whether everything is aligned out there.

When you work from the internal, over time, the external tends to conform to help you.

Rarely is it the other way around.

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