Should We Even Do Resolutions?

Last year, I went through all the goals that I had set for the year. And then I wrote a few more for this year.

The goals were broken into “health,” “finances,” “career,” etc. I managed to accomplish about half of them. I rode the bike. I did manage to get promoted to Senior Development Manager at Shopify, even in the midst of our product line being absorbed into a different organization and a move to Shopify Retail. I read 11 out of 25 books I set as a goal. I still can’t do ten pull-ups. I painted four of the five painting I hoped to complete. I practised the bass until I had a COVID-related fall-out with my teacher.

But I’ve started reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, and he points out that goals are a measure of outcomes, not the habits that achieve the outcome itself. Instead he reframes success in terms of who you want to be. And then do the things that type of person would do.

It reminded my of something my friend Gabe said to me in a practice coaching session; “Maybe you just want to be the kind of person who commits to things.”

Okay Gabe, here’s what I want to commit to. What I want to be.

I want to see myself as an athlete. I’m a good skier. I’m an okay cyclist. I’m a poor soccer player. But I want to see myself first as an athlete. Someone who listens to their body, improves it, and doesn’t take it for granted.

I want to be a good spouse, father, and friend. My best friend called me out recently for not being present enough. And he was right. Cindy’s been there for me; it’s my turn to be there for her now. Iain’s in Grade 12; I don’t have as much time with him the house left. And I rely on my friends; time for them to be able to rely on me.

I want to be an artist. I’m painting more and getting better. It calms me down. It’s a different exercise for my brain.And then I want to play the bass with people. Pat’s learning guitar and when it warms up, we should be able to jam.

Maybe this is a better way to achieve things. Let’s see.