Our cat Ollie’s life goal is to achieve comfort…daily, hourly. As members of the human race, however, we appreciate routine and turning the page to reach familiar stops along the road. That’s why most of us still like the change of seasons. For example, kids love the start of summer vacation, but they’re usually ready to head back to see their friends and teachers in the fall. Generally, we like to see some snow in the winter, but we’re ready to say goodbye to it by the spring.
After the crazed holiday season quiets a bit, many of us start thinking about a typical routine, forming resolutions. A Nielsen survey from a year ago showed that these were 2015’s Top 10 Resolutions:
1.) Stay fit and healthy
2.) Lose weight
3.) Enjoy life to the fullest
4.) Spend less, save more
5.) Spend more time with family and friends
6.) Get organized
7.) Will not make any resolutions
8.) Learn something new
9.) Travel more
10.) Read more
While all of these resolutions are laudable, most of them will never come to pass due to a variety of factors. First, families with young children in schools are the busiest people on earth. Everyone is trying to earn a living, maintain solid adult relationships, and all the while raising the kids, which is the hardest job imaginable. It’s simply hard to focus on creating new habits when the mandatory plate is pretty full.
But look at that Top 10 list again. What is common to all 10, except perhaps #7? The answer is that they are all vague generalities and hard to measure. So, instead of “stay fit and healthy”, we’re better off setting a goal that we’ll “join a fitness center and go three times a week.” Instead of “lose weight”, we need to set weight goals per month, or invest in a particular plan. It’s also important to measure your gains over time. Success is a great motivator and when we celebrate our triumphs we increase our odds of meeting our goals.
Life is too short to not set measurable, realistic goals and commit to them.