New Year's Resolution

The Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions and Parkinson’s Law

I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now: You shouldn’t make a New Year’s resolution.

Seriously, why even do it?

You know you’re not going to follow through with it, so why set yourself up for failure? And do you know why you and millions of other people will not achieve your 2022 New Year’s resolutions?

Because of something called Parkinson’s Law.

If you’re not familiar with Parkinson’s Law, it’s the adage that work expands to fill the time allowed. Simply put, the amount of work required adjusts to the time available for it to get done.

Think of it like this: When you were in school and the teacher assigned a paper or project on Monday that was due on Friday, you probably didn’t do it that night. You waited until Thursday night to start and finish the paper. That’s an example of Parkinson’s Law.

It’s the same with New Year’s resolutions. If you set a goal in January and give yourself 12 long months to reach it, it’s probably not going to happen. You might be excited in the first week or two, but then you’ll get distracted, tell yourself you have 11.5 more months to achieve it, and forget all about that resolution.

So does that mean you should never set huge goals? Definitely not. But what we should do is set small, manageable goals instead of one big goal. A coach can help you break down the steps into manageable chunks.

Say you want to lose 15 lb. this year. Make your first goal to eat one serving of vegetables at each meal for two weeks and see how that goes.

After you have conquered that goal, make 30 minutes of exercise four times a week your goal. Then go on to the next small goal and the next one and so forth.

Eventually, you’ll have achieved all of these small goals, and they will have helped you reach your really big goal for the year.

So in 2022, avoid New Year’s resolutions and Parkinson’s Law. Go for the short, small goals and see how much you’ll succeed vs. your efforts in past years.

Setting small, manageable goals instead of one big resolution can have a profound impact on your ability to achieve your desired outcomes. By understanding the concept of Parkinson’s Law, which suggests that work expands to fill the time allowed, you can navigate around the common pitfalls of New Year’s resolutions.

Consider your past experiences. How often have you set grand goals in January, only to find your motivation waning after a couple of weeks? The allure of having an entire year to accomplish a resolution can lead to procrastination and loss of focus. However, breaking your goals down into smaller, actionable steps can significantly improve your chances of success.

Imagine wanting to lose 15 pounds over the course of the year. Instead of fixating on the final number, start by setting achievable goals in bite-sized increments. For example, make it your initial objective to incorporate one serving of vegetables into each meal for two weeks. Once you’ve mastered that, take the next step and commit to 30 minutes of exercise four times a week. Gradually build upon these small victories, setting new milestones along the way.

By pursuing a series of manageable goals, you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment and momentum that fuels your progress. These small wins will eventually culminate in the achievement of your overarching goal. The guidance of a coach can be immensely valuable in helping you navigate the process, breaking down the steps, and providing support and accountability.

So, as you approach 2022, reconsider the traditional approach of setting New Year’s resolutions. Instead, embrace the power of setting short, small goals and observe how they enhance your chances of success compared to your efforts in previous years. Remember, it’s not the size of the goal that matters most; it’s the consistent effort and progress that pave the way to lasting transformation.

Read more about improving your mindset in setting goals for yourself

Learn more about Parkinson’s Law here

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