New Year's Disillusions

A Community Contribution from Mike Vardy

As the first quarter of 2010 passes us by, I’m going to ask it: How many of you have stuck to your “resolutions” that you made at the start of 2010?

I’m betting that some of you – perhaps most of you – have faltered on them in some form or another.  It’s to be expected.  In fact, it can be preferred.

I’ve heard David Allen say you need to make a bunch of resolutions – essentially goals – and the real challenge is making some of them stick.  When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it.  I mean – c’mon – surely we should have some focus on what we want to get out of ourselves and the year ahead.  Why not hone in on a few resolutions from the onset?

Then I realized that extreme focus on a few items might just lead to failure – and a more recognizable or definitive failure to boot.  When you only pick one or two things to work on (or give up) you’re only giving yourself one or two chances to succeed.  However, when you give yourself a large number of goals to strive for, you’re providing yourself with more opportunities for success.  We all know that one success generally makes up for several failures – so why not gear yourself up for potential successes rather than set yourself up for failures that stand out?

We go into a new year with more disillusionment than resolve in most cases because we’re trying to do too much in a short period of time.  Sure, you think it’s going to be a year-long journey, but in the grand scheme of things one year is a short period of time when you’re talking about goals and habits.  If you did a retrospective at the end of last year, you’re already ahead of the game.  Just keep focused on the end result – and there’s a lot of aspects of your life that you’ll want to alter to hit that mark.  So go for the changes you know you’ll need to make to do just that.  There’s a good chance you’ll miss more than you’ll hit, but those who are the best at what they do have found success despite failing time and time again.

Swing for the fences; you’ll hit at least one home run if you give yourself enough chances at the plate.*

*I had written five other sports metaphors before getting it right with this one.  I rest my case.

Mike Vardy is an accomplished, self-professed productivity and procrastination expert, as well as regular contributor to GTD Times. With his humor and wisdom, we hope you enjoy his perspective on doing things…eventually. Read more from Mike.



2 Responses to “New Year's Disillusions”

  1. Patricia says:

    I really like this article. A couple bells went off in my head. Including one that said “if you fix yourself to only a couple of goals, you don’t leave your mind open enough to pick up some others along the way, or even replace the ones you have for some betters ones or more timely ones.”

    Great article, thanks!

  2. Chip Joyce says:

    Great article. In addition to those goals actually achieved, what a person gets by always making goals, is to habitualize goal setting. It changes thinking patterns and will convert a person in so many beneficial ways, including psychologically. The person will be living to think of new goals all the time, achieving many, and being totally cool with those you don’t achieve. That is real self esteem.

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