The week following New Year’s day, Harry went to the gym armed with his New Year’s resolution.
He drove into the car park, but then struggled to find a single vacant spot. In a huff, he exited the car park (stage left) and reluctantly parked two blocks up the street, and trotted back to the gym. When he entered the front door, he immediately noticed the floor was chock-full of sweaty bodies puffing, pumping and straining.
Harry proceeded to take a tour of the gym with the puffy manager. At the end of the tour, the puffy manager took him through the prices and membership options. Harry was happy with the club and amenities, but had one overwhelming concern.
He turned to the manager and quizzed if the gym was always this busy — having to line-up and wait to use the equipment was a big concern as his workout time was limited. The puffy manager chuckled and responded in an ironic tone, ‘Don’t worry Harry, in a few weeks, the gym will be half empty. Just you wait and see.’
Hence the lesson: most that declare a bold New Year’s resolution aren’t prepared tostick and persistent long enough to see their goal achieved. The resolution is a token gesture, born more from the expectations of others, instead of coming from a place of true meaning and purpose. Everyone needs a New Year’s resolution, right? However, after a few weeks and maybe a setback or two, they quit the goal, resigned to the murky backwaters of procrastination once again.
It’s common knowledge that Gyms traditionally fattened their bottom-line from well intentioned members not showing up. Human behaviour is of course predictable. Anyone can set a goal, but fewer have the courage to really see it through. This is why success, which ever way you want to cut it, eludes so many people. The goal is achievable, but ‘the stick’ isn’t quite big enough.
Goals are often concocted ambitiously, we’ve all meet the seductive BHAG. Big goals are exciting and indeed more interesting to others. Just be sure the goal is set for the right reasons or it will frustrate you no end. The most effective way to carry out goals is to set smaller, more realistic goals and then commit to seeing them through. This takes discipline, and it takes effort. You then build confidence in yourself to increase the size and importance of your goals accordingly.
If a goal is genuinely important to you, why not declare it to the world and fight for it?! Now’s a great time of year to truly commit and hit your goals with a big stick!