watch your words

Why Big New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Matter

Terri Davis magazine

watch your wordsA year-long micro vision is a much better strategy for reaching your goals.


Instead of making another big New Year’s resolution, it’s better to make micro goals throughout the year. It’s much harder to give up something big in one go, and it’s harder to reach your goals when you set yourself up for failure in this way. A much better strategy is to make monthly goals, call them resolutions if you want to, in order to meet your ultimate goals.

Mini resolutions turn into habit because they are a repeat on a system of achievable goals that also keep you going because they’re easier to reach. So, the habit of reaching your micro goals will make it more likely that you follow through on your ultimate goals, whatever they are.

To make your micro resolutions you can make a list of things you want to achieve. This is what I call a year of vision for yourself that can really work. This strategy means you can dedicate each month to a micro goal. Each month I add something good and take something bad away and repeat. I don’t always achieve my goal, but I often do, and much more often than I did when I resolved to change some big thing all at once.

You need to make goals for yourself that are easy to bite off. There was a time I could hardly walk because of hip problems and it affected every aspect of my life. I resolved to strengthen my body because I didn’t want it to get any worse. It was hardest at the beginning because it seemed like such a big thing. It was! It was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. But I made little goals for myself. When I first started with my micro-goals, I could barely get off the ground as my body was sore and stiff.  I started with little movements and strength exercises, then as I became stronger, I added more.  Today, I am doing burpees off the ground, and not just one, many! It happened without me realizing it. I was meeting baby goals that eventually allowed me to reach my larger goal, which was to become stronger, to the point where I now can’t wait to go walking and do all the things I love. It’s helped me lose weight and be a more conscious eater for my body, and these had a crucial influence on my career. I felt better. I could walk longer. I felt confident again and more able. Building my body up also built me up, my confidence, my perspective on life, and my attitude towards big challenges. We can overflow with misery and defeatism very easily. It’s easy to fall into the path of the victim. Big New Year’s resolutions make it less likely you will achieve you goal, and this is only going to make you feel worse. So, stop that and take control of your every day, step by step.

Try smaller goals. Make them monthly. Soon you will have the habit to tackle any large challenge by seeing that micro goals towards a larger picture will help you achieve your larger goal, with happiness, a vision for the end, and a leisurely pace that builds stamina, confidence, and the maturity to know what you do today will help change tomorrow. Pile todays on tomorrows every week, every month, and you’ll be surprised how much you can do.

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