BEST NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS OR NEW YEAR TASKS
BEST NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS OR NEW YEAR TASKS
❏ Today I will talk about Resolutions or Tasks: Which Should You Set? (Link)
Today is January 1st, the first day of the start of a New Year. Many of you are contemplating creating a new set of “Resolutions” for the New Year. Before you spend your time and energy on this annual rite of passage of sorts, allow me to ask you 3 questions.
- What were your Resolutions last year, and how many of them did you accomplish?
- Can you even remember for sure what they were?
- Were they the same resolutions that you set the year before last?
I’m betting for most of you, your answer to all 3 questions makes you feel a bit bummed out, right? Why?
Simple. None of us likes to face our failures.
I have a solution that I promise you will change your life.
Don’t Create Resolutions – Create Tasks – and Track Them!
“What?” Aren’t creating Resolutions and creating Tasks the same things?
Good question. Let do a test and tell me what you think the difference is.
- I want to lose 25 pounds.
- I want to save $25K to buy a new car.
- I want to find a new job.
- I want to read more books this year.
- I want to find a boyfriend/girlfriend.
These are pretty common Resolutions. Almost no one ever achieves them.
Because the are Resolutions and not Tasks.
Allow me to show you some Tasks, and you will begin to understand the differences.
- Trash pickup is at 8 am on Monday, so I have to put out the trash when I leave for work Monday at 7 am.
- My Algebra homework is due Friday morning, so I have to get it done before I go to bed at 10 am on Thursday.
- I’m out of milk, so I need to stop by the grocery store on my way home from work tonight.
- The grass is too tall, so I have to mow the yard on Saturday at 10 am before it gets too hot.
- The prom is on Saturday, so I need to rent my tuxedo two weeks before that date.
What is the key difference you see between the Resolution list and the Task list? Look closely.
Tasks are Commitments – Resolutions are Wishes
Resolutions or Tasks? All of the Tasks have “calendar commitments.” All of the Resolutions are what we call “open-ended.” I refer to Resolutions as Wishes.
Open-ended things are more like a wishlist. We wish for the things to happen magically, but because there is no “gotta be done by date,” these things languish behind all of the must-do tasks in our lives. They rarely get done. That’s why Resolutions are really wishlists under a different name.
But, what if we really, really want to get our Resolutions accomplished this year. How would we change? Start by turning them into Tasks. Here’s how I would take the five Resolutions above and “fix” them by tasking them.
- I will lose 0.5 pounds every calendar week by Sunday 8 am for the next 50 weeks. (Lose 25 pounds in 1 year)
- I will save $500 by Saturday 8 am each calendar week for the next 50 weeks (Save $25K to buy a new car with 1 year)
- I will update/create my LinkedIn profile by January 2nd at noon, spend 30 minutes each day at 7 pm to review online job sites, and have at least 1 monthly interview by 5 pm on the last day of each month until I find a new job. (Find a new job)
- I will read 1 new book by 8 am on the last day of each month for 12 new books this year. (to read more books this year)
- I will reach out to my friends to let them know I’m looking to find a boyfriend/girlfriend, spend 30 minutes each Saturday from 8 am to 8:30 am reviewing opportunities on dating sites, and go on at least one new date by Sunday midnight each week. (Find a boyfriend/girlfriend)
Do you see the difference? I’ll bet you do. So how do you implement this? Easy, and you don’t have to spend a dime or buy any new software.
Take these five tasks, put them on the calendar software you use, and look at them each day!
That’s right. The calendar software that we use every day on our phones, tablets, and laptops/desktops.
Open up Your Calendar Software
For the first Task, open your Calendar software to the first Sunday in January. Go to 8 am and create a new Event: Record Weigh-In: Task 0.5 pounds less than last Sunday. Look for the option to make this a Repeating Task. Please set it to repeat each Sunday and set an end date of December 31st. Set a reminder for the day and time of the event. I recommend doing both an email alert and a popup alert. Now Weigh yourself and record your Starting Weight. Hit Save. Now you’ve created a Task, not a Resolution. Every Sunday at 8 am, you will be reminded of the task you set for yourself. I would recommend you buy one of those electronic scales that saves the data to your phone and weigh yourself at the same time every day. Yes, you will have some days where you won’t want to weigh yourself some mornings because you went to a party the night before and ate way too much – but weigh yourself anyway. Why? If you are like many of us, weighing yourself on a day that you know your weight has gone up will psychologically get you to do the right things – eat less, exercise more – that day and the next to get back on track.
Trust me. You are a thousand times more likely to accomplish the Task of losing 0.5 pounds per week for 50 weeks, achieving a 25-pound weight loss by December 31st, than if you just “resolve.”
Look at the image associated with this article. This is my Google Calendar. If you zoom in, you will see my calendar is filled with tasks. There are a few empty spots. These are my ‘breaks.’ Some people set each task as Pomodoro. I’m not quite that specific yet. Click on Pomodoro to see what it’s all about and if you want to give it a try – go for it!
Create Each Task
Now create a task for each of the remaining tasks. The save $500 each week is pretty simple. Most banks will now allow you to set up a separate savings account for free. Set up a recurring transfer from your checking account to the newly created Car Savings account. Set the transfer to occur each Saturday at 8 am. Now on your Calendar software, create a new weekly recurring event for Saturday at 8 am. Set a reminder for 12 hours in advance – 8 pm on Friday. This reminder will be so you can check your checking account balance 12-hours in advance to ensure you have the funds. If you don’t, you can perhaps transfer funds from another account, or if needed, delay or cancel the transfer for this week.
Rinse, Wash and Repeat
Now take similar steps with the remaining three tasks, and you’ll be done with this example.
Time to Set Your Own Tasks for the New Year!
Now it is time for you to select your tasks for the new year and put them in as a set of recurring tasks for you to achieve them. Challenge yourself, but be realistic.
If you are 150 pounds overweight, keep each weekly task to 0.5 pounds per week. Please consult your physician and have them guide you to the right weekly weight loss target for you and your situation.
If you need to buy a new car or a new washer and dryer, set a realistic weekly savings goal. I would recommend you target to save the amount you need in no less than six months and no more than one year. Take your gross annual salary, divided it by 50, then divide that result by 10. ($100K / 50 equals $2k, divided by 10 equals $200 per week). This puts you saving 10% of your gross income, or roughly 15% 50 20% after taxes, for your must-have thing. That’s a big amount to save for most of us. You’re going to have to cut back in those eating-out nights, daily lattes, and movie nights to make it happen.
The important message to remember from this article is that if you make what you want a “Task” and not a “Resolution,” you are much more likely to see it accomplished.
2019: My Tasks for the New Year!
I believe in “eating your own dog food.” For those not familiar with that phrase, it means that anything that you teach or sell to anyone who listens to you, you MUST use or practice yourself. You can’t be believable when you say BMW cars are wonderful if you drive a Mercedes. So here are my “Tasks” for the New Year.
- Write and post at least 1 Blog Post every day for the next 365 days before I go to bed each day. (365 posts – This is #1 on January 1st)
- Start and finish at least one new book before I go to bed every Sunday (52 total) (1st Book is “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath (Updated))
- Create at least 1 FREE website each week (52 total) for someone who needs a little help getting a new source of income before I go to bed every Sunday
- Write and Publish 1 new book by the end of each month Continue my weight loss of 0.3 pounds per week and get to my goal of 172 pounds by December 31 (Current Record: Day 1 = 231.7 | Day 204 = 194.5)
Conclusion – Resolutions or Tasks?
OK, that’s it for this post. If you have questions, reach out. I’m here to help.
I hope I have educated you on Resolutions or Tasks: Which Should You Set? Now that you understand the difference, I hope you will follow this Best Practice of mine and incorporate it into your workday and life. I’ve used my calendar and tasks for many years, and my productivity and overall sense of accomplishment have soared. Please join me today!
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