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Trap #4 of New Year's Resolutions: Unrealistic goals

New Year's Resolution: Satisfaction and pride in achievable goals


Character attempting to do a squat with an absurdly high amount of weight.

You might be familiar with it: On New Year's Day, you're full of energy and set large, ambitious goals. "This year I'll run a marathon," "I'll lose 20 kilos," or "I'll finally start my own business." Such goals sound motivating, but often they are so lofty that they are hardly achievable.


Studies show that only 30% of resolutions have a realistic chance of being implemented long-term. Just after three weeks, many abandon their plans, and after six months, only half are still pursuing them.

The problem with such utopian goals is that, although ambitious, they are not always realistic. They can quickly overwhelm you, leading to frustration and ultimately to the abandonment of your resolutions. It's like trying to climb a mountain in a single step – an impossible task.

Let's look at real-life stories. A patient of mine, Cris, set himself the goal of working out two hours daily at the gym. Initially, Cris was full of zeal, but after a few weeks, the motivation dwindled. The reality of daily intense training was too much.


Or think of famous figures like actors who must undergo extreme transformations for a role. They have a team of experts supporting them. Without this support, such transformations would be nearly impossible. An extreme example of the challenges of excessive ambitions is the story of Christian Bale. For his role in "The Machinist," Bale lost an incredible 30 kilos, showcasing a remarkable physical transformation. This kind of extreme change, while impressive, is not without risks and requires extraordinary measures that are not realistic or safe for most people. Bale's example illustrates the importance of setting realistic and achievable goals, rather than trying to achieve extreme changes overnight.

So, what can we do? The key lies in setting realistic, achievable goals. Instead of saying, "I'll run a marathon," start with "I'll run three times a week." Instead of "I'll lose 20 kilos," aim to eat healthier each week and exercise regularly. It's about taking small steps that bring you closer to your goal.


It's important that your goals challenge you, but they should also be attainable. Ask yourself: "Is this goal realistic for me?" And don't forget to celebrate your progress. Every small success on the way to your goal is worth celebrating.

Remember, consistency and patience are crucial. As B. Tracy said, "Your life is the sum total of all your choices up to this present minute" Make your resolutions habits that you can live every day. By the end of the year, you'll be able to look back at a series of successes rather than unattained utopian goals.

So, let's avoid the fourth trap of New Year's resolutions and set realistic goals for this year. Goals that challenge you but are also achievable. By the end of the year, you'll feel not just success but also satisfaction and pride.

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