Each year, millions of people around the world begin the new year by trying to change their lives with a new year’s resolution. Each year, most of those millions fail. Sticking to one resolution is tough—some estimate that only 8% succeed—so sticking to 10 should be impossible, right?
Well, we’re about to find out, because I’m doing every new year’s resolution. I’m reading 26 books, saving $2,000, cutting down on sugar and learning Chinese—and six other things as well.
I looked at multiple lists of the most popular new year’s resolutions and chose the most challenging options that I could apply to my life. Resolutions that weren’t relevant, like quitting smoking, I turned into something more personal. Here’s my list of 10 resolutions:
Read 26 Books
Minimize Social Media
Write Every Day
Make a Difference
Why do I think I can achieve all of these goals? Because in my mind, they’re really just one mega-goal: adding structure and discipline into my life. All of these goals will be bound together by one thing: a schedule that helps me turn these resolutions into habits.
It starts with a 7AM wakeup followed by a morning workout that ends by 8:30. After breakfast and some short personal time, work starts at 9:30 and lasts until 12. During lunch I do my Chinese flashcards and am back to work around 1. Work continues until 5 or 6 when I make dinner, eat it, then practice guitar. Depending on my progress, I’ll do more work into the evening. I’ll get in bed around 10:30 or 11 and read until I decide to sleep.
How, When, Why
|Get Fit||Workout 5 days per week.||MTWTF at 7 AM||Fitness increases productivity and happiness.|
|Save Money||Automatically round-up purchases to put into savings. I want to save as much as possible, but my goal is $2,000.||Everyday||Financial freedom gives us increased options and control over our own lives.|
|Get Organized||Purge apartment of needless possessions, erase digital clutter.||One reorganization followed by weekly audits.||Clutter increases stress and makes you less effective.|
|Study Chinese||15 minutes of flashcards or videos||MTWTF at lunch.||Understanding another language is a window to the world.|
|Practice Guitar||15 minutes of guitar practice||MTWTF after dinner||Playing an instrument has beneficial effects, and it is a fun personal goal.|
|Quit Sugar||Eliminate or drastically reduce added sugar from my diet.||Everyday||Excess sugar makes you fat and is not healthy.|
|Read More||Read 26 books in 2017. That’s two books per month.||Everyday before bed||To expand my knowledge and learn new things.|
|Minimize Social Media||Uninstall Facebook app from iPhone. Stop mindless browsing. Use social media deliberately.||Everyday||Social media is a huge time suck. I don’t want it to get in the way of my other goals.|
|Write Every Day||Write every day. Improve and try to get published by at least one major website or magazine.||Everyday||Consistency breeds quality.|
|Make a Difference||Be helpful towards my family, friends, and strangers. Be thankful for what I have. Smile more. Help other creatives.||Everyday||It sounds quaint but how we treat others matters and I want to be sure that I am contributing goodness.|
The “I’m Doing Every New Year’s Resolution So You Don’t Have To” FAQ
Why are you doing this?
Because I want to change my life for the better and I hope that by creating a schedule that incorporates all 10 resolutions I can live a better life.
How serious are you?
I’m serious about this—but not dogmatic. Each individual goal is important, but I’m open to changing the details to fit my schedule and the reality of life. What is not negotiable is the underlying premise: changing my life with 10 resolutions.
You should keep it simple. Doing 10 different resolutions at once is too hard.
I disagree but that might be right. I’ll find out as I go along.
Why are you doing this publicly?
I’m doing this publicly because I believe that making my goals and progress open will force me to try harder. In short, I’m hoping you guys keep me accountable.
When did you start?
I began planning and formulating the schedule on December 28, and started implementing it on January 4th, 2017.
Who are you?
My name is Alex Webb and I’m a freelance writer. I founded the site you’re reading now.
Do you really think you can keep 10 new year’s resolutions?
I did something like this once before, when I made myself write 1,000 words a day for an entire year. I succeeded at that so I think I can pull this off. I’ll create a new post for each week I continue the challenge with updates on my progress.
How can I follow your progress?
I want to join!
If you want to join me in doing multiple resolutions at once, let me know in the comments. We’ll stay in touch and I might even do a post about how everyone else is doing. Let’s help each other out and make things happen!