It’s now the middle of January, which begs the question, are you sticking to your new year’s resolution? For many, a new year means big promises to take significant steps to make big changes. This will be the year. This will be your year. Typically, as soon as the festivities are over, New Year’s resolutions become faint memories. Why bother to set goals if we will forget them halfway through the year?
In this post, we will discuss the following about setting goals:
“New Year’s resolutions are a tricky business,” says Psychology Today. “They are obligations we put on our future selves to behave. You probably don’t like people telling you what to do. You probably especially don’t want to hear from that young immature version of yourself who did such a bad job with last year’s resolutions.”
Let’s put an end to this and find a new way. Resolutions are a subtype of goal and are no different from others you set for yourself. The only difference is that you declare them at the beginning of the year. We all have our reasons for setting them; here are some examples:
One of the most critical functions of the brain is said to be an executive function. This is a cluster of cognitive abilities that evolved to enable us to set and achieve goals. Most other creatures react based on instinct; humans take action based on planning.
They provide you with a vision, a direction, and give you a destination. Without goals, you risk wasting your resources, feeling confused and overwhelmed. You also run the risk of being unprepared when opportunities arise.
From ordinary things like getting up for work in the morning to once-in-a-lifetime dreams, things get done when we treat them like goals that need to be accomplished.
Goals drive advances in science, education, medicine, public policy, law, and government. Progress in all these fields happens when people set, pursue, and achieve goals. This helps to avoid confusion, which can delay progress.
Goals help to keep people connected. The success of a group depends on how much its members believe in a common goal.
Studies say that purpose is the deeper reason for why we want to accomplish a goal. Behind the stated goal is our desire to do something to improve our lives and the lives of others. Studies suggest that purpose is both what motivates us and moves us to take action.
As neuroscientists learn more and more about the brain’s emotional circuits, they are discovering that one of our most basic emotional reactions is happiness through pursuit.
According to Psychology Today, “From now on, all you need is one resolution … scientifically proven to make you a better person and to help you achieve. That resolution is this: Make lists of your goals. Write down what you need to do to achieve each one, in as much detail as you can (what, where, and when). And do this everyday, or as often as you can.”
“The science behind this is called implementation intentions. It is behind books like ‘Eat the Frog’ and ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.’ It is probably the only habit worth worrying about, because it encompasses all the others.”
Instead of making light of a tradition like new year’s resolutions, let’s put our heads together to think of more reasons to keep it alive. Do you think we need resolutions? Follow CanScribe on Instagram and share your thoughts!