This might sound impressive, until you realize I’m obsessively careful about choosing my Resolution.
99 percent of your New Years Resolutions’ success or failure hinges on choosing the right one.
Many people — in my humble opinion — fail because their New Years Resolution is a goal they don’t want enough.
It’s easy to see why its important to be so ruthless about priority-setting when it comes to money. We see that our money is limited.
It’s harder to see that our time and energy is more limited. Time is scarcer than money. It demands more ruthless prioritization.
What’s the secret to strong goal-setting? Know the difference between an “It Would Be Nice” goal and a “Non-Negotiable” goal.
“It Would Be Nice If” …
There are plenty of goals that would be nice to achieve.
- It would be nice if I could play the piano.
- It would be nice if I could learn Italian.
- It would be nice if I could lose 10 pounds.
These goals share two common threads: They require hundreds of hours of sacrifice and effort.
If you don’t want it enough, you won’t invest hundreds of hours of your precious life towards achieving it. Period.
You can’t half-heartedly climb Mt. Everest. You can’t half-heartedly run a marathon, launch a business or raise 6 children.
- It would be nice if I could play the piano … but I’m okay with my musical skill as is.
- It would be nice if I could learn Italian … but I’m happy speaking only English.
- It would be nice if I could lose 10 pounds … but I’m fine with the way I look.
A non-negotiable goal keeps you up at night. You want it so badly, you can taste it. Your friends are sick of hearing you talk about it.
It’s the goal that — at the end of your life — you’ll regret not doing.
This is the only type of goal that will inspire you to sacrifice sleeping late and watching movies. This is the only type of goal that will cause you to sacrifice a steady paycheck or a nice home.
How did I travel to 27 countries? It was absolutely non-negotiable. It was the cornerstone around which I designed my life. I chose my apartment, my car and my line of work based around it.
What If I Don’t Have a Big Goal?
It’s fine if you don’t have a non-negotiable goal. You can’t force yourself to have one. Big dreams find you.
You also shouldn’t pressure yourself to set an overzealous New Years Resolution. Don’t resolve to learn French if you’re not consumed by daily thoughts about how much you yearn to speak French.
There’s a beauty in simple resolutions: drink more water. Eat at least two apples per week. Make your bed every morning. Learn to cook three new meals.
Save your big resolutions for your big dreams.