Most new year’s resolutions stick only a few weeks.
“I will lose 10kg by the 1 July.”
If this kind of goal helps you to achieve what you want – great!
The Problem: For most people, goals can be discouraging when you miss one or two deadlines.
An alternative approach to focusing purely on end goals is to focus on progress.
The main advantage is that you will need a lot less willpower (which is finite) to achieve your goal.
Finding the underlying pattern
What needs to be done to lose 10kg by the 1 July?
Describe what you need to do to achieve your goal.
Let’s say you could do more sports. After you did the calories calculation, you find out that you need to burn an average of 1.000 calories to lose 10kg.
Logically, you could put this on your iPhone as a daily fitness goal.
But instead, I recommend setting your goal way below those 1.000 calories.
To burn 1.000 calories, you have to run for around 60 minutes a day.
If you plan to lose weight, chances are you did not run an hour a day in the past. This means your goal would be from 0–100. From couch potato to runner.
Goals that are too ambitious are the number one reason why almost all new year’s resolutions fail.
Focus on progress
The primary goal is not to burn 1.000 calories a day but to get you going.
You want to develop a running habit. And the key to this is to start small.
James Clear calls it Atomic Habits (Good Book, by the way).
The key idea is to make it so stupidly easy to get going that you can not find any excuse not to do it.
Want to lose weight? Run 100m every day.
Want to gain muscles? Do one pushup a day.
There is no excuse not to do a pushup a day even when your sick or drunk – one pushup is always possible.
Consistency beats short time hustle almost every time.
Making Progress is Motivational Gold
No matter if you have burnt 1.000 calories or just 100 on a given day, you made progress in the right direction.
What feels better than to know that you are on the right track?
Making progress feels amazing and boosts your self-worth.
This is the fuel that you need in order to build a habit and be consistent.
This is infinitely better than doing nothing because the hurdle was too high for you today to get even going.