I guess we all want to have a better New Year as compared to the last one, right? And the two quintessential questions are: How do I want it to be different, and how can I make my goals turn into a lifestyle that I can sustain. Goal setting doesn’t really work as proved in multiple past years. I’ve heard the number is as high as 90% of New Year’s resolutions aren’t kept. 90%! Then what? How do I sustain a new lifestyle?

It matters because growth on a continuous basis, a lifestyle of growth if you will, is what it’s all about for us humans. It turns out people are happy when they make progress, and not happy, not for long anyway, when we hit goals, because then there’s just another goal after that. Thinks about it. Progress quantified looks something like this. Whether you have kids or nor, how long would you want your fourth grader to be in fourth grade? It sounds ridiculous, right? Of course, you only want them to stay in that grade one year. But what about us adults? Do we expect ourselves to grow, and try, and learn different and new things every year too? Why wouldn’t we! But it is all too easy once we’re out of school to get complacent and stay in the same “grade” year after year, right! We drag ourselves to work, then drag ourselves home, then drag ourselves through the weekend, ad nauseum, until we’re bored with our jobs, and our lives until we either scream or zone out or get lost in a haze of recreational booze or drugs, prescribed or not. Or maybe we give up our own lives and live through and for our kids. No one can fault you for that, right?  

It matters because a lifestyle of continuous growth will lead us to have an exciting life of learning and trying new and different things! And goal-setting won’t! New goals within our old lifestyle will leave us, after a brief celebration of a goal achieved, bored with ourselves and with life.   Why? Because after you achieve your goal, 9 times out of 10, you revert to your old ways and habits and a lifestyle of pursuing things. Right, 90% of the time; not very good odds.  Sure you decided to join a gym and spend less time in front of your computer or on Facebook, but pretty soon there you are again, checking your phone every 10 minutes!  But a lifestyle change, well, that’s forever. When you decided to finally trade in your old junker for the new BMW convertible you always wanted, there’s no going back after that! When you chose to give up your partying ways and decide to share your life with someone special, there’s no going back! When you make the choice that you’ve had enough of apartments and decide to buy a house and turn it into a home, there’s no going back. These are lifestyle changes!  Life looks different after that! It looks better!

Here’s what I’m going to do to make my new, mo-betta lifestyle stick this year and forever! See if you want to try it too and let’s support each other along the way!  #1. After a little soul searching, I wrote my vision for a better lifestyle down on paper. This way I can read it again, often, and inspire myself with how cool my new lifestyle will be.  #2. Then I shared it with lot’s of friends and colleagues, knowing that they’ll ask me how it’s going when we see each other again: for example, how do you like working out at Crossfit, Greg? It makes me feel great when I can say, I’m loving it, especially when I can see results in the mirror every morning too! That’s double affirmations from my friends and from myself, and that means a huge boost to my willingness to keep working out! #3.  I’ll also set myself up for success by asking a friend to buddy-up with me to do stuff, like hiking. I love hiking! But sometimes I’m just not in the mood at 6:00am when my alarm goes off so I can wake up and get ready for a 7:00am hike. OK, 75% of the time I’ll go on my own, pretty good right? But if I have a friend joining me, I’ll go 100% of the time, because I will not let my friend down, that’s for sure!  

OK, there you have it. Three priorities, or tools if you will, to help ensure creating a better lifestyle in 2017. That’s right, lifestyle.  That’s what will determine the long-term trajectory of our life, and dare I say it, our happiness and even fulfillment! While goals make come and go with the years, it’s our lifestyle that stays with us and is much more important than any single goal or even lots of goals over a lifetime! Imagine the lifestyle of an artist, or a pilot, or a writer or an adventurer. Paintings come and go, books or blogs come and go, travel destinations come and go. But that choice of a lifestyle, that’s what matters. That’s what can last a lifetime!  

This blog is an example of concepts we live by in my new organization, Community 2.0.  PM me for more information about how the best way to reach our full individual potential is by working more effectively together.