New Month’s Accomplishment: This is A Way Better Alternative (and Solution) to New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions don't "work" and a "New Month's Accomplishment" is what you need instead. Let me explain...

New Year's "resolutions" are silly for a few reasons...


They usually aren't S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, and time-bound). SMART goals are pretty self explanatory but let me lay it out so there's no confusion: when you set out to do something, make sure that it's:

  • simple and clearly defined (specific)
  • something tangible so it's 100% clear whether or not you accomplished that goal (measurable)
  • enough of a stretch to move you out of your comfort zone, but not a shot at the moon (achievable)
  • all about an outcome instead of an activity (results-oriented)
  • in such a timeframe that it creates a sense of urgency for you (time-bound)

I think when most people set a goal that they're serious about, they intuitively and automatically make it specific, measurable, and achievable. The two biggies here are "results-oriented" and "time-bound."

Issue #1: You're Not Results-Oriented & Time-Bound

People don't know WHY they're doing something, for example, someone tells me their big goal is to write a book for their business. Why? Just because. Someone told them to do it. There's no real plan beyond that, and their heart isn't in it (no emotional reason-why) so it's just not going to get done. (It probably won't get started.)

The average person makes a silly goal like, "I'm going to run 2 miles every morning all this year." That's bad. It's open-ended, and it's not time-bound. A better goal would be that you're going to walk 10 minutes every evening for one week, and that's it! Nothing recurring.

Issue #2: Your Goals Are Too Big

Second problem, the goals are the wrong size. Usually too big. They're so big that you've subconsciously set yourself up for failure before you even started. You could have made your goal "write a 1/2 page blog post" but instead you said you'd write a 200-page book, including editing.

Can you please be honest with yourself? If you don't want to do anything different this year to grow your business and change your life, I honestly think that's okay, but ONLY if you're honest with yourself about it. That leads us to...

Issue #3: Belief & Honesty

Third, there's no real belief behind these S.M.A.R.T. goals. Maybe you're going through the motions and setting these goals because you think you "should", and you feel "bad" for not having one. Maybe you feel excited when you plan it out. But that excitement wears out in a few days, doesn't it?

The problem with a New "Year" resolution is that you probably start thinking of a goal around December 1st (Thanksgiving is over and it's holiday time), decide on that goal around December 5th, and then give up on the goal completely by December 15th. A small portion of people make it until January 10th, and even less until February 1st.


The solution to your "belief" crisis is to gain a small victory so you can not only see what's possible, but you've also broken that vicious cycle of:

feel bad -> over-engineer a pie-in-the-sky solution -> give up on it -> feel bad again

The Answer: New Month's Accomplishment

I have a better path for you and it's actually pretty simple:

  • Don't wait until January 1st to do something different
  • Don't have a huge year-long or recurring goal (just hit the next milestone)
  • Do something SMALL and ONE-TIME, like writing one blog post or going on one walk (anything is better than nothing)
  • Don't tell others you're going to do it (just do it and brag about it later)
  • Use the new month as an excuse to run a new "experiment", but keep doing more what's making money and less of what's not making money

Let's just call this a "New Month Accomplishment." This way, it's something small and S.M.A.R.T. that you can knock out. The reason why the end-result is so small is because the journey is more important than the destination, you're trying new things (and re-visiting old things that worked but you forgot), and if you get some small successes, you're more likely to be happier and more confident about those small achievements of yours. You're more likely to repeat those things and make them good habits.

What's Your New Month's Accomplishment?

My "New Month's Accomplishment" for January was recording an audiobook. That's something I've wanted to do for a few years, and I have eight books on Amazon at the moment, but no audiobooks. A few days ago, I sat at the computer, and did nothing that day but dictate (read aloud) the first half of my first book (100 Time Savers).

That took almost exactly two hours. The next day, I didn't check my email or Facebook until I recorded the second half (two hours), then adjusted the audio according to ACX's (Amazon and Audible's) specifications, and sent it off. It takes a few weeks for them to approve the audio book, so I'm just waiting on that.

My business partner Lance Tamashiro's New Month's Accomplishment (just from my observation) was sending a handful of thank you cards to some of our customers. This is something we used to do every day, but we stopped and forgot about it. Now we're doing it again. Simple!

Let's say you're sick of that messy garage. Instead of making a "commitment" (yuck) to "try" to "clean up better" this year, take one of item out of that garage, take a picture of it, and list in on Craigslist within the next few minutes. Done! New Months' Accomplishment finished.

If you have trouble writing: Ernest Hemingway only wrote 500 words a day, but he did it every day. Stephen King writes exactly 2,000 words (7 pages) daily. If he hits 2,000 words and he's in mid-sentence, it doesn't matter, he stops!

If he writes 1,500 words and gets to the end of the book he's writing, he types THE END and writes the next 500 words for the next book. Your New Month's Accomplishment could be to only write 500 words tomorrow. Don't worry about the next day or month or the rest of your life, just get 500 words out of the way.

I'm curious to know what your New Month's Accomplishment is, but don't tell me!

In fact, don't tell anyone what you're doing. Finish something simple that you can complete in a day (or two at the most), or preferably just 10 minutes today, and now you've finished more than those schlubs who "planned" their "resolution" for the "New Year" and never even started.

Also see: Time Management on Crack to beef up your productivity, Income Machine to get that passive income system of yours up and running, and Make a Product to publish that book on Amazon.

Filed in: Archive 1: 2012-2016MindsetProductivity

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