Yes, that’s right. Goals are a scam. Resolutions are handcuffs. The “New Year” is your new prison if you let it.
I would think of the WORST worst thing about myself (I have many things to choose from). Then I would think of its opposite. Then I would call that a “Goal.”
Goals are double-negatives.
Then I would be unhappy until I achieved my goal. If I didn’t achieve my goal, I would be even more unhappy. Then once I achieved the goal, I would usually realize it didn’t solve the initial negative, so I would still be unhappy.
New Year’s Resolutions are a clusterf*ck. Here are some New Year’s Resolutions I will never do again:
A. MAKE MONEY
Money is a side effect of achieving mastery.
Derek Jeter didn’t say, “I’m going to be rich” when he was a kid. He said, “I’m going to practice for three hours a day hitting a tiny ball that is coming at me at 100 miles an hour.”
Mozart was certainly anguished about money. But his true happiness came when he freed himself from his father’s clutches and was able to compose and perform the music he loved.
I’m lazier than those two. I’m happy when I am underwater and pretending to be dead while I float.
B. LOSE WEIGHT
Everybody needs a different way of eating and exercising. My biggest problems for seventeen years were stomachaches in the middle of the night and problems with “flow.” And then as I got older, I started to gain some weight.
But having as a goal “losing weight” is like a low IQ thing. It ignores health.
So after trying everything (less calories, raw, vegan, vegetarian, etc.), I found one way of eating that works for me. A mostly paleo-based diet. Hat tip to Tim Ferris for that one.
I’ve been doing that diet for about eighteen months. Since I started it, I haven’t looked at a scale. Why bother? I feel healthy.
C. I’M GOING TO DO MORE OF X
No more MORE. Instead, more LESS.
Last year, I did less BS business stuff, which allowed me to focus on more creative stuff. Less business, more ME. Less anxious, more NOW. More naked body painting.
D. MORE FRIENDS AND MORE LOVE
This is related to the above non-resolution, but I’m making a special case.
I cut a lot of people out of my life the past three years. A LOT.
People who would regularly try to bring me down or cut my throat or spread some disease in my direction.
And what was the end result? MAGIC! More friends and being around more people I love.
E. I’M GOING TO LEARN X
A few years ago, I made a promise to learn Spanish. I promised Claudia. I promised her dad (R.I.P.).
I said I was going to do it on my blog. And to force myself to do it, I even started a blog to track my daily practice.
You can see how well I did at jameslearnspanish.blogspot.com.
Not only will you learn as much Spanish as I did (little) but it’s some of the best writing I have ever done.
It’s really hard to learn something. But it’s not hard to be curious about something.
My new technique: simply have question marks instead of periods around every statement I say or think.
This forces me to look at everything from new angles. I get curious instead of anxious. I call this “mini-learnings.” They add up.
They don’t give you new facts. There is no such thing as facts. But they give me new imaginations.
If you think the world is made out of particles, no scientist will argue. But if you think it is made out of waves, you would be right also.
No one approach is right or wrong. It’s all imaginations. We learn to use our imagination to explore the depths inside of ourselves.
From the first moment in time, the universe has been creating. Every second.
You and I have inherited, from the earliest black hole big bang particles, this same instinct. The instinct of creation on every level. Physically, mentally, spiritually.
There are no resolutions. There’s only creation right now this second. You, me, and the mystery in between.
@jaltucher (Click to Tweet!)
P.S. As I was writing this, something got caught in my throat, and I started coughing and retching, and my kids started to laugh. This is how I’m raising my kids. To laugh when their dad is about to die. Good job, me.
P.P.S. Claudia came downstairs, and I told her what the kids did. She said, “that’s not very nice,” and they said, “but it was funny.”
Yay! Last year’s New Year’s Resolution ACHIEVED. I’m a comedian.
James Altucher has built and sold several companies, and failed at dozens more. He’s written ten books, and Choose Yourself is the book to RULE THEM ALL. He’s an investor in twenty different companies. He writes every day. He doesn’t have enough friends. Still interested in knowing him? Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.January 3, 2014