I’m a people-watcher. Among my favorite pastimes is people watching on a packed street corner, amusement park, or any place where a lot of people hang out. I literally could go to a place like Disneyland, sit on a park bench and people watch for hours.
People are incredible. People are stupid. People are fascinating.
My love of people-watching makes New Year an amusing time for me. Each year I observe people very closely for the first week of the New Year. My friends, my acquaintances, and really anyone in sight. The most alluring place to people-watch is the gym.
Why? First and foremost I am frequently there. Secondly, losing weight sits atop the list of the most common New Year’s resolutions.
For precisely one week after the New Year, every gym in America is packed to full capacity. New Nike shoes and Apple watches can be spotted for days. Fresh from the Christmas wrapping paper, worn in hopes that this year will be different.
It’s annoying for many, but for me I understand that by the end of the week it will back to normal.
Why Does Everybody Lie
For the past few days I have been unable to stop asking myself why it’s so hard for people (mostly myself) to keep their New Year’s resolutions. According to a Forbes article back in 2013, at that time only 8% of people surveyed achieved their New Year’s goals. I would be willing to bet that number is even lower this year.
It’s impractical to put a finger on why the numbers are so staggeringly low.
I believe it boils down to a handful of things.
Setting up and following a system is crucial.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, back in 2015 I set a goal to write down 10 ideas a day, everyday until I had a business idea worth going after.
I knew it would be tough and there would be days it would feel impossible.
Setting up a system and a routine was my best bet. I created a note in my iPhone that listed all my goals. Life goals, five year goals, 1 year goals, all the way down to daily goals.
Underneath each of these goals I created a bulleted list and stated the actions I needed to take to make these goals a reality. Sometimes these actions would then require another bulleted list stating how I would accomplish that sub-goal.
For example, my goal was to start my own company. In order to start that company I needed to find the right idea. In order to find the right idea I needed to write down 10 ideas a day. In order to write down 10 a day I needed to wake up 30 minutes early or go to bed 30 minutes later.
It would look like this:
-Start my own company
- 10 ideas everyday
- Wake up 30 minutes early
Every morning the first thing I did was open up that note and read through my goals. It reminded me what I was working toward. It help keep me focused. It was what kept open my tired eyes.
Initially this was tough to get used to. There were days I would forget to open my phone and look at my goals. Eventually it became habit.
If only there would have been an app. I envision it first asking me my goals. Next it would make me state how I was going to achieve those goals as well as what actions I needed to take. Perhaps it even let me insert an inspiring image or quote that helped remind me of what I was grinding for.
This app would let me choose certain times of the day to be reminded. I would set the app to remind me at 6:30 A.M. when I woke, then again at 10:30 P.M as I was preparing for bed.
Fortunately for me, the desire to start my own business was strong enough that I made it happen anyway. Nonetheless I feel I could have benefited greatly from such a tool.