The year is coming to an end in just a few days; there is often a sense of relief in the atmosphere, as if we are truly excessively happy and grateful for the new year; it seems that every year there are some of us who will claim that that specific year has been horrible either because of personal mishaps or rather due to unfortunate developments that affected the entire world. Along with the good-riddance vibe many of us feel like making new resolutions, setting goals, promising to themselves that they will finally lose that extra weight, start learning mandarin, take more yoga classes or make their wildest dreams come true etc. It is, as if we automatically reset ourselves becoming concurrently confident that it will be different this time, we will not forget our goals and remember that we neglected them as soon as the following year comes to an end as well.
Yet, when we are just a few days in the new year, it feels like the spell of motivation wears off only to be replaced by the stress to carry out the mundane, repetitive chores of our chaotic, everyday life. It has always baffled me why this happens. Why do we perceive the beginning of the new year as something completely brand new, fresh and different or rather why do we have the need to shape this perception?
What if we did not engage in setting our goals pompously and proudly at the beginning of each year?
Short Distance Goals
Deciding to start learning German, for example, in Berlin, which bursts with temptations to fall back on your English, is a challenging task on its very own. Imagine how much more difficult it becomes to motivate oneself, when one knows that they have an entire year at their disposal. Having three months instead could prove way more fruitful.
This brings me to the second core element, which this year’s resolutions could have: specificity. Did you finally decide to get a bike in 2017, since Berlin is so friendly to this kind of daily transport? This sounds great. The idea becomes even greater, when you know what bike you would like to have and in case its price way is over your budget, how long you would need to save up, so that you can afford it.
There will be countless occasions, when you would prefer to spend your time by doing anything else than searching for a place in your favorite neighborhood, that you have always wanted to live. If this is something though that you have promised to give yourself as a gift, you will realize at the end while lying on that super comfy sofa in your new apartment that sacrificing all those fun moments was definitely worth it.
Every time you set a goal, the fear of failure lurks cunningly around the corner. All these insecure voices in your head will start convincing you that the probability of messing it all up is so high, that it is not even worth trying anymore. All the great accomplishments do not happen, because the people involved are necessarily gifted or better than the rest. What truly distinguishes them is that they are not afraid of failing, because even then they know for a fact that it will not be long until they pick themselves up and keep trying.