I started creating New Year’s Resolutions when I was just 7 or 8 years old. I had amazing, ambitious intentions. However, my resolutions always seemed to function a lot like a match. Before a match is lit, it holds so much promise. Once lit, there’s a beautiful burst of fire. Almost as quickly as it’s lit, it’s extinguished and becomes nothing more than a piece of trash.
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Here are a few of the fundamental problems with the New Year’s Resolutions of my past.
- There was no sense of urgency. Setting a goal for the year meant that there was always “time”. I’d talk myself out of action in January and February because I still had months and months to make it happen.
- I rarely moved from strong intention to consistent action. A resolution, to me, was more like a wish. I wished to lose weight, to save money, to get more organized. But, intention doesn’t create change.
- I forgot about them. After a few weeks of kind of trying or putting things off because there was still plenty of time, I’d get distracted by something else in life until I came upon the list of resolutions 8 months later.
- I was biting off more than I could chew. My aspirations often exceeded my willingness to change. I wasn’t ready or willing to totally overhaul my diet or my finances, even though I wanted the result it would create. My approach to New Year’s Resolutions was essentially the same as someone who has never run deciding to run a marathon but totally unwilling to lace up and go for a jog.
My New Year’s Resolutions, no matter how great the intentions behind them, were met with delays and distractions, until they were nothing more than a forgotten list of broken promises.
I couldn’t continue pursuing a failing strategy. More accurately, I wouldn’t. I wasn’t willing to. I didn’t want the same lack of results.
I wrote at length in my book (coming January 10th!) about pursuing change and improvements via evolution, not revolution. Not resolution.
I needed small, actionable steps. I needed to focus on the day I was in, the present moment and all it’s potential, instead of an aspirational future goal.
I wanted to commit to the process – to live a certain way – instead of attaching to a particular outcome.
In episode 549 of the podcast, I’ll be sharing my year-end review process but for today, I want to share the evolutions I’m choosing as I go into 2019.
Evolution Versus Revolution Versus Resolution
From my experience, a resolution is an intention. It’s a wish or aspiration. It could even be as strong as a decision, but even decisions are worthless if we don’t act on them and see them through. Resolutions have never worked for me.
A revolution is an overhaul. A dramatic change. It’s extreme. Revolutions have never worked for me. The more extreme and intense the strategy, generally, the less sustainable it has been for me.
Evolution is gradual. Evolution requires action. Something is happening. It’s not dramatic, it’s not intense but it is both powerful and impactful.
As I go into 2019, I’m continuing my own personal and professional evolution.
It’s all about process improvement, not outcome attachment.
It’s not about doing more things or bigger things, it’s about doing better things.
It’s not about being more productive, it’s about being more fulfilled.
I’m not here to tell you that you should take the path of evolution, but I’m happy to share what it looks like for me and the various evolutions I’m creating in my life.
There was a lot of rushing in 2018. A lot of busyness. A lot of to-do lists and tasks. I want to move beyond busy and into fulfilled. Joyful. Happy.
My evolution is about how I want to live my days, not what I want to achieve at the end of them.
- In general: More fun. I’ve gone through most of my life with days that are about productivity and “fun” is something that happens intermittently. Sure, I value productivity. But I also believe I can create a life where fun happens every single day. I’m pursuing that this year.
- In love: I’m working to evolve my thinking away from the ideas of “the right way” and “the wrong way”. I have ideas in my head, largely shaped from past experiences, about the way things “should” be. The way communication should be. The way intimacy should be. The way commitment should be. I want to operate from a blank slate. How do I want things to be? What can we try? How can we break out of “convention” and explore what works for us? How can I focus on all that is right instead of all I’ve decided is “wrong”? I want to let go of everything that doesn’t bring me joy and peace and seek out more things that do!
Questions I’ll be asking myself:
- How can I make this more fun?
- What was the most fun I had today?
- How can I create something I want in my relationship? How can I be part of the solution?
- I’m evolving from having a “hustle” to having a business. Yes, I am self-employed, but up until this point, Primal Potential has relied almost entirely on my time and effort. I want to put more systems in place and I want to look closely at what I really love doing and what I don’t love doing and make some changes accordingly. I want to invest more time and energy into writing my next books, and that will require some sacrifices. I’m ready to make them.
- I want to do less and do it better. I want to spend more hours of the day working on my business than working in it. I’ve always worked “on” the business, but that has been secondary to hustling to work “in” it. That’s changing this year. The majority of my work hours will be spent making things better and more efficient. The minority of my hours will be spent on tasks and deliverables.
Questions I’ll be asking myself:
- Does this contribute to the way I want to spend my days?
- How can I make this easier?
- Where is the intersection of maximum impact and maximum freedom?
- Is there a system for this?
Make sure to tune into episode 549 of the Primal Potential podcast (airs Monday December 31st) to hear all about my 2018 reflections and my 2019 intentions!