5 Ways to Fail Your New Year’s Resolution

  1. “I will lose 20 pounds by the end of February.”
  2. “I will spend more time with my family.”
  3. “I will get Nancy to marry me.”
  4. “I will make a million dollars.”
  5. “I will weigh 125 pounds.”

Let’s Check Them Out:

1. “I will lose 20 pounds by the end of February.”

BONUS: 21 things NOT to do in order to FAIL:

  1. DO NOT allow your focus to stray from your deadline or the acquisition of the goal as if it were a product you could purchase from Walmart.
  2. DO NOT allow yourself to ever consider your resolution as an organic process or an activity you could commit to just doing regularly as a reward.
  3. DO NOT allow yourself to feel good about the activity or process or adventure of moving toward the person you want to be.
  4. DO NOT allow your resolution to become part of a lifestyle that involves new friends and new fun activities and new locations.
  5. DO NOT associate with people who are successful at happily achieveing and maintaining the same kind of goal you have.
  6. DO NOT adopt the beliefs and attitudes and habits of successful people. Instead, make sure you hang out with lots of people who “share your struggle” (but never succeed). Believe and complain as they do.
  7. DO NOT make a specific and scheduled plan for taking manageable, bite-sized actions on a consistent basis.
  8. DO NOT schedule and prioritize your consistent bite-sized actions on your calendar.
  9. DO NOT write the personal deeply-held values that relate to your goal — and your bite-sized actions next to them on the calendar where you’ve prioritized those actions within your schedule.
  10. DO NOT feel good about keeping those values-affirming appointments.
  11. DO NOT congratulate yourself or memorialize in writing the progress you create.
  12. DO NOT imagine and design goals unless the final decision lies with someone else.
  13. DO NOT focus on the parts of your progress that you most control.
  14. DO NOT take consistent meaningful action any time you can find something that “has to be done first” — and especially if you can find a way that someone else has to do it.
  15. DO NOT ever make a resolution of a reasonably achievable size.
  16. DO NOT measure progress toward a goal. Instead, always measure how large the incomplete portion is.
  17. DO NOT allow your focus (or that of your friends) to wander from the goal — or how dramatic your struggle is.
  18. DO NOT lose sight of how much attention you can get by failing.
  19. DO NOT make yourself lonely by winning your goal — thereby losing your connection with your friends who are also struggling with the same Resolution.
  20. DO NOT feel worthy or deserving — or like investing in yourself, your happiness, or your health. Instead, make sure to live down to the lowest opinion of yourself or the lowest social standing you can remember having.
  21. NEVER BELIEVE that Resolutions are about the outcomes of consistent practices or lifestyles. Instead, always imagine that resolutions — like a new flat-screen from Walmart — are the results of massive temporary efforts. And, like that flat-screen, their value is in lording it over your friends — for as long as passively doing that can last.



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