The top five resolutions from year to year tend to be the same: lose weight, improve finances, quit smoking, spend more time with loved ones, and exercise more. They just change ranking position each year, usually. But this year, there’s a new resolution at the top of the list, and it’s not one of the usual big five:
Be a better person.
We find this resolution interesting, and troublesome. On the one hand, we always want to support the instinct for personal growth and improvement. But on the other hand, this resolution could imply, on some level, that one’s not good enough as a person and must be better.
Also, in the typical fashion of resolutions, as a goal, this one stinks. Be a better person? What does that even mean? How do you measure it? How do you establish whether that goal is achieved or not? The spirit behind it is probably good, but the language construction is downright terrible.
So, if you’re one of those people who have already had the instinct that this is the resolution for you in 2018, let us help you refine that resolution and give it a better chance of being fulfilled. Here’s what you need to think about:
- Define “better person.” What qualities, exactly, would you exhibit if you were a better person than the one you are right now?
- In order to possess those qualities, do you need to acquire new knowledge that you don’t currently have? Or do you need to learn new skills that you don’t currently have? Maybe both? Identify the exact ones.
- Where can you learn these new knowledge sets or skills? What’s the actual source of them?
- What is a reasonable time frame for learning the new knowledge or skills? Can you be a better person in three months? Six months? Or will it take you the whole year?
When you create a more precise picture of what it takes to achieve your goal, you can reverse engineer that goal as a process, create steps and benchmarks, and actually blueprint it out. Then you can approach those steps one by one, without feeling overwhelmed, and chip away at it until you have what you desire.