On New Year’s Resolutions

I don’t understand the anti-resolution crowd. The arguments against making resolutions seem to fall into one of three categories. First, people will say, “What is special about January 1st? If you want to make a change, make it any time of the year.” This is valid, but the new year invites reflection about self-improvement. Second, people argue resolutions are vague and no one keeps them. This is also valid but is an argument against poorly constructed resolutions not against resolutions. Finally, people say we stress too much about self-improvement and should be content with ourselves. This is the only argument I can understand, but few people actually make this argument.

I value self-improvement, am reflective around the new year, and believe I can set good goals, so I will go on setting New Year’s Resolutions.

This year I am publishing them to hold myself accountable and ensure I revisit at the end of the year. Before I get into my goals, I would like to caveat that I am grouping goal setting and resolutions together. Simply resolving to eat healthier or exercise more is bound to fail or worse, impossible to measure. Instead, I set clearly defined goals that are either accomplished or not.

My goals fall into three categories: body, mind, and spirit.

Body.

I find I am most motivated by specific goals, rather than developing habits or systems. I find the habits and systems come as a byproduct of pursuing a goal. For example, say I pursue a goal of a certain time in a road race or triathlon. I will set up exercise habits to hit that goal and will naturally start eating healthier to improve performance. True story: I once asked for a plate of raw spinach at a restaurant when I was struggling with cramping).

  1. Run 5k in under 25 minutes
  2. Run 10k in under 55 minutes
  3. Bike from my apartment to Gallows Road and back in an hour (20mph avg with 1,000ft of elevation gain)

Mind.

I find I don’t really understand something unless I can explain it. Since my friends and family don’t appreciate me explaining things they’re not interested in, writing is the best alternative.

My goal is to write every day, even if it is only one word. I’ll publish on Medium, but not every day, so I will track my writing with a Google Sheet. While the intent is every day, I will consider the goal accomplished if I hit 80%.

Spirit.

Since moving to DC in September, my wife and I haven’t connected with a local church. My goal is to find a local church that we are a part of. I will consider this accomplished if we have a small group that we attend and look forward to.

Rules of the blog: 1) this is where I come to flesh out thought, 2) thinking with others is better than thinking alone 3) these thoughts will change