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Cheers to MORE in 2024!

Updated: Jan 12




Hi Friends! It’s Resolution Season!! But if that statement makes you cringe, you aren’t alone. According to one study released by US News, upwards of 80% of the folks who made New Year’s Resolutions fail before the end of January. Eighty percent! And it’s not hard to see why. Many of the resolutions we make tend to be around dramatic changes to how we eat, exercise, spend money, or stop a habit that is adverse to our health (smoking, for example). These resolutions typically revolve around restriction and scarcity, such as stop smoking cold turkey, lose 20 pounds through restrictive diets, “dry” January (a practice where someone gives up all alcohol for the month), and more. Yet, even if we start out with the right intentions and motivation, many of us end up failing.


Why?


There are many theories that try to tackle this question - podcasts, articles, and self-help books dedicated to helping you, resolution-breaker, become one who keeps your word. One of my favorite authors on the subject is James Clear and his book, Atomic Habits. He writes, “What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.” [source: jamesclear.com/habits]


So maybe it’s not motivation at all. Maybe you are breaking your resolutions before they really even start because you haven’t fundamentally changed at your most basic (aka atomic) level. As popular podcast host and author Tim Ferris likes to remind us, quoting ancient philosopher Archilochus: “we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”


If we haven’t put the work in to change our training - the ways in which we think, feel, and behave - how can we expect to hold on to a resolution that, for most of us, falls outside of our daily habits and routine? If what we repeatedly do, as James points out, ultimately forms who we are, declaring a resolution that goes against our ingrained systems is almost sure to fail.


Wow, so we might as well not even try, right? Not so fast. We actually do possess the power to change our habits and the systems or training we put into place to make those changes stick. However, it does take a lot of intentional work. Work that most of us don’t factor into our resolution equations when we declare them on the first day of the new year.


Now for the really exciting part: we don’t need a specific day to start this work. While a new calendar year always brings an extra bump in that “start fresh” mindset, it doesn’t have to be the only time we start anew. Before I left my 9-5 job at Georgia Tech to start my own coaching business, January wasn’t the start of a new year, August was, since it kicked off a new academic year. Even our fiscal year was different; it started over on July 1. We had several opportunities to “start fresh” in higher education, not just one day every year. So what’s stopping you from starting fresh today, right now, whatever the date says on the calendar as you are reading this?


Here is what I propose: let’s ditch New Year’s Resolutions and focus instead on Targets. I won’t even call them “New Year” targets, because I want you to give yourself the permission to set your own targets on any given day of the year, special or not. What’s the difference between a resolution and a target, you ask? A resolution can be defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something” [source: Oxford dictionary online]. A target can be defined as “the object to be achieved by an action or development” [source: Merriam-Webster].


When we set targets, we aim our thoughts, words, and actions towards that center. We set up new systems or habits that aid us in reaching those targets. We grow. We stretch. We develop. We might even acquire new skills, behaviors, or systems along the way.


Declaring resolutions often leads to scarcity mindsets: “I won’t eat dessert, ever!” or “I won’t miss a workout, even if I’m sick!” When we inevitably cave on a yummy treat or accidentally snooze our alarm instead of lacing up, we spiral into shame, defeat, and negative self-talk. Setting targets allows us to use a growth mindset: “I will add more healthy foods to my diet.” or “I will choose more workouts that will help me complete a 5k”. These types of targets set our feet in the right direction, heading towards our goals of eating healthier foods or being more physically active.


When we focus our thoughts, behaviors, and habits on targets we can grow towards, we ultimately achieve a higher level of success than trying to comply with restrictive resolutions.


So what are you saying MORE to in 2024? Here are some targets to help you get started:

  • Set a target to be more present in the moment

  • Set a target to get more steps into your day

  • Set a target to eat more colors on your plate at every meal

  • Set a target to save more money for the future

  • Set a target to say yes to more date nights, more calls to friends, more face to face time

  • Set a target to add in more rest and recovery in your days, weeks, and months

  • Set a target to be more kind to yourself, amplifying your inner advocate

  • Set a target to invest more in your personal or professional development

  • Set a target to make time for gratitude; appreciate what you are doing right


You won’t always get it right or perfect; that’s not the point. The point is to learn, and grow, and develop into the kind of human you aspire to be. You might miss a step, make a mistake, or

even fail; the target might move or morph or multiply - that’s great! Targets are simply there to give you purpose and direction; a way to add more habits and behaviors you want to work toward. The more positive systems you add to your life, the less time and mental bandwidth you will have for the negative ones. Leave the resolutions in the past and start focusing on the targets in your future.


If you’d like to discover and amplify your strengths to reach your own targets with a coach, let’s connect. I would love to help you set your targets in 2024! Schedule a quick call with me at or drop me an email.


Cheers to MORE in 2024, friends! I’m rooting for you!



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