It’s New Year’s again. And once again, I am here, my Utah-bred sense of moral superiority on full throttle (hookers and blow notwithstanding) to pour gallons of icy cold, sobering water on all the excitement.
New Year’s resolutions are great and all — they really are good; they come from “the right place”, people make them for good reasons. But as any AJATTeer knows, good reasons are bad. If what we needed were good reasons, there’d be no smokers and we’d all be nice to our mothers 😛 .
Perhaps I’m just an inveterate iconoclast. I haven’t always hated holidays, but I definitely started hating them young. And why? Well, because I got and get the sneaky feeling that other people are trying to tell uz when and how to be happy, when to feel good. Well, screw being happy 1 day a year, or even 2 days a week. Give me the other 5. Give me all 365. Monday morning is my cartoon and pyjamas time, beaches 😉 .
You don’t need New Year’s. You needn’t be bound by it. You’re bigger and better than some date system that some NAMBLA guys made a thousand years ago or whenever. Every day — or, at the very least, every month — can be your New Year’s.
As Dragon Ash taught us many New Years’ ago, life goes on. Your life included. Again, your life is even bigger and better than a year change. I want you to know that intuitively, to understand it in your bones, so that you can continue to have lots of good feelings and continue to make lots of good choices that don’t depend on it being early January, that continue long after the socially mandated 1/1 excitement has worn off.
But enough from me. Sometimes (OK, all the time, shaddup, I know), other people word things way better than me. Such is the case with “Making Yourself Happy: The Value of Setting Short-Term Goals“, an essay by Dr. Ted Sielaff, Emeritus Professor of Business at San Jose State University, of which the following is an excerpt:
New Year’s Resolutions are behaviorally unsound. In order to keep doing something, we need periodic reinforcement, like recognition or reward. That is lacking with New Year’s Resolutions. Usually New Year’s Resolutions are too grandiose, like: I’m going to get myself fit this year. Or, I’m going to finish my MBA this year. Too much for most of us.
In setting goals, you can be happy if the goal is doable — something, that is within your power to accomplish in a relatively short period of time.
Make short term goals that are in harmony with some long term strategy you might have. Don’t make a resolution for a year. For example, suppose your long term strategy is to write a book. It does no good to say: “This year I intend to finish writing a book”.
I have found it better to set goals for just a month, like this: “I want to finish the first draft of the chapter of my book on “The People Living in Yosemite Park”. That would be a doable goal if I worked at it every day and had my research done. And, at the end of the month, I could check to see if I reached it.
In stating the short term goal, you should make it specific and measurable. Don’t say something like: “I intend to write every day”. That is too vague.
I have found that if I set short term goals for myself that are in harmony with a bigger strategy that I have I can be very happy. And, the interesting thing is that these short term goals often fit together in building a bigger picture.
Too many goals can frustrate you. So, keep the list short. Make it something where you will easily do everything and be victorious – be the winner.
So, my advice is get busy on goals. Forget the New Year’s Resolutions stuff. It’s not helpful. But, small goals that are in harmony with a bigger plan can make you a winner and will be fun.
And as if Dr. Ted’s sagacity weren’t enough for you, here’s a small piece of a medium-length piece by a big man, Juan Rivera of Samurai Mind Online, on the joys of crack…time:
I have discovered crack, and it is good.
I do crack whenever I have a moment. Well, a crack is actually a moment because the crack that I am using is cracks in time–little moments when I can do a little part of a dream.
Little chunks of time turn can turn everything you are trying to attempt into a little game.
And it works best when it feels like a game. If it starts feeling like work, play a new game or just space out.
I know there are going to be a lot of articles and promotions for how to achieve goals for the New Year. But just sit back, relax, and do crack.
↑Juan’s happens not only to be good advice but also one of the best translations and puns on a Japanese word (隙間) ever executed.
So…yeah…New Year’s…don’t make a big deal out of it: make a small deal out of it. Small, atomic actions. Take one tiny crack rock at a time, put it in your crack pipe, and smoke it like an enemy in an FPS game.
And if in doubt…just make more of the good choices you’re already making.