Why I Quit New Years Resolutions

When December comes to a close I do what everyone else does. I choose 1-5 things I want to work on in the coming year. Work out more, start a blog, do more freelance work, don't drink beer... or at least not as much. You name it, I tried it - and failed at most of it.

Here's why I think I failed so much with New Years Resolutions:

  1. I wasn't specific. I said “I want to write a blog" but didn't know what I wanted to write about. What was my purpose? What would set me apart?
  2. They weren't realistic. “I don't want to drink beer.” Really? I love beer. Walking into a Hy-Vee with a build-your-own 6-pack of craft beer is like a 5 year old walking into the candy store and they're mom saying "Go ahead honey, fill that bag up to your heart's desire."
  3. I thought It all came down to willpower. I said, “I want to work out more” instead of choosing a workout plan that best suited my desired results and schedule. I said, “I want to do more freelance” instead of devising a strategy and marketing myself to the people I wanted to work with.

The gut punch though, is that once I failed to meet my resolutions on a consistent basis, I started to lose faith in myself. I became discouraged and thought I was incapable of following through. Which over time ultimately affected my ability to show up and finish strong outside of  January 1st-15th.

But for whatever reason, year after year, I keep entering this cycle.

Well, I quit.

A few months ago, I subscribed to Chris Brogan's newsletter as a recommendation from a friend. To be perfectly honest, I didn't read any of his newsletters except for the first one I received after subscribing. However, by divine intervention, when New Years approached and the subject line of Chris' email read "Plan Your 3 Words for 2016"  made it's presence known in my inbox - I clicked on it.

You see, Chris has a very interesting approach to a new year. Maybe you've done this or know someone who has, but it's something I've never seen or heard of before. Instead of choosing resolutions, he chooses 3 words to help guide his decision making for the coming year. 

The idea behind it being that three words (no more or less) is that you have the ability to create a kind of “triangulation” between the words, such that they can stand alone or work together.

So this year I'm quitting resolutions. I'm following Chris' "3 words" approach as well as choosing 3 things I must accomplish in 2016 - no ifs ands or buts.

So here it is:

My 3 Words:

  • Discipline - Disciplined in my craft, my words, the way I eat, sleep, exercise, and spend time with loved ones.
  • Give - It's time I start giving more to the world around me. 
  • Do - Don't just think, plan or talk about doing something but just doing it.

My 3 must-do's:

  • Design my own line of prints and shirts with my print shop
  • Feature another creative once a month on my blog
  • Give a portion of my monthly income to someone who needs it more

Have you struggled to keep your New Years Resolution? Do You feel like you're just going with the flow, setting goals for yourself with no real sense of direction? 

I invite you to break the cycle of unmet goals and try something different this year. Life's too short to live on repeat, start taking steps to move forward and start creating the life you want to live.

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