New Year’s resolutions are kinda like first dates –they can be both energizing and intimidating…and most don’t go as planned, so we are forced to have a friend get us out of them by calling and faking an emergency.
When done right, we set our goals to be achievable, but not too effortless. Fun, but also formidable.
Right off the bat, the goals are energizing. The fresh-start effect motivates us from January 1st until about January 10th. We hit the gym, stick to our budget and all is golden.
But then life gets in the way. We are scheduled to work late and forced to skip the gym. A fun vacation is proposed and we dip into the savings account that we said we wouldn’t touch. We tell ourselves these are just one time things, but by March we have decided that 2017 just isn’t the year to lose weight or save money. 2018 will be better suited for that. By then there will probably be a new app that will do it all for us, anyway.
As the year goes on, we become less willing to look at our list of goals. Unless we make them fun to look at…
That is why I write my goals in crayon.
Whether the goal is to sell a high amount of Maury C. Moose books or write a certain number of blog posts, I easily become intimidated by my resolutions. And when I become intimidated by them, I am much like a baby playing peekaboo — if I can’t see it, it must have just magically gone away.
Because I know it does not take much for me to want to avoid looking at my goals, I try to do everything I can to make them less scary.
For the last two years I have written my goals in crayons. And not just black crayon either. The goal of writing 200 blog posts can be difficult, but it is a little less scary when written in a color named macaroni and cheese orange. In fact, it has been found that things written in crayon are 78% less intimidating than things written in pen, according to a fake study by imaginary 9 year-olds.
My method does not cause the the goals to change. Life does not get any easier. Obstacles still get in the way. But you better believe that come August, I will still be smiling when I look at my list of goals that look like they are written by a 31 year-old 1st grader.