Why aims are better for you than resolutions

Did you make any resolutions this new year? Yeah? How many of them have you kept so far? I’m guessing not as many as what you made in the first place. But then again, resolutions are there to be broken. Alright, that might not be their real purpose, but it’s the purpose they take on more often than not. And why? Because resolutions set us up to fail.

If I said to you, how long can you balance a spoon on the end of your nose for, you might make it one, two seconds, maybe more, before the spoon falls off and leaves you with a slight sense of failure (and some yogurt on your nose, if you’re an idiot). But what if I suggested that by the end of the year, you were to aim to try and successfully balance a spoon on the end of your nose for ten whole seconds? Seems more doable, right? That’s because it would be, no science involved.

Making aims that can last the whole year on one hand seem too easy, but when the alternative is to fall at the first hurdle, and spend the remaining 11 months and two weeks lying on the metaphorical ground, isn’t an achievable aim much better?

My 3rd aim for 2015: travel more
My 3rd aim for 2015: travel more

I have set myself three aims this year. None of them involve eating less chocolate or doing anything I will dislike and find myself becoming irrationally moody about having to do, i.e. running. They are:

  1. Set up a freelance writing business.
  2. Finish the novel I started in November
  3. Travel more

They are all pretty big aims, but it’s the 14th January today and I haven’t failed on any of them yet. In my opinion, resolutions are there to keep us occupied in the first few grey days of the year, while we’re seeing off all the hangovers and preparing to go back to work. After that, they’re either forgotten or broken anyway. If you like making them though, the challenge of a genuine aim is going to give you the starting point to actually improving the things you want to work on this year.

Don’t let another year become the same as the last. Decide what you want to work on this year, then aim for it.

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