New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. There are countless reasons why people fail to hold them, and even more why they decide to make them again the next year. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, but too many set them wrong. Possibly one of the biggest reason they’re so hard to keep is that people over-exaggerate just how much they’ll actually be able to attain.
On an old Reddit thread a few years back, a user had proudly shared that he had paid a nonrefundable deposit to climb Mount Everest. That’s great! The user also shared that he had never as so much as rock climbed in his life. The expedition would be in nine months time. That’s…terrible. Filled with desire, confidence, and (wild) ambition, the user was quite literally putting himself in harm’s way. He believed that simply making this large deposit, it would force him to train for the expedition. This is the hare.
The thread quickly went into convincing the user that if he went through with the expedition he would surely die. Attempting to climb one of the most dangerous mountains in nine months time without ever having trained is ludicrous. No amount of desire and ambition would help him in the very real situation between life and death. Had he understood his goal and the small steps that it would take to get there eventually he would be ready to climb Everest. This is the tortoise.
In a “race” of New Year’s resolutions, you have to remember that the race is against yourself. You can choose to rush to meet that goal you want and potentially fail, or slowly take the proper amount of steps to achieve it. Saying you want to lose twenty pounds for your health is great! Going on a fast on January 1st hoping to lose that weight is not. You must take the proper steps to evaluate where you’re at, and what you’ll need to do next to eventually get to your resolution. In the example of weight loss, start by making smarter food choices every day, slowly working out, and then re-evaluating what worked and what didn’t. Let your ambition drive you, but your clarity guide you. It’s impossible to say you’re going to lose twenty pounds when your fridge is full of nothing but junk food, and you hate exercise. Take it slow one day at a time, and you’ll find yourself leaping forward towards your goals.
You are the tortoise, you are the hare.
Also published on Medium.