Throw Away Your New Year's Resolutions

Seriously. Throw that checkmark list with resolutions in the trash. Burn it. Do anything but save it - it’s going to limit you.

Ok, now that I have you firmly up in arms, let me explain…

I talk to a lot of people - and most that I talk to are committing to New Year's Resolutions in some form or fashion. I love their energy, but when they talk about their resolutions, it always feels like they’re selling themselves short.

For example, one of my friends wants to “go to the gym 5x/week”. Great! “What for?”, I ask him.

“To get a six-pack”, he tells me.

So look, I’m not here to knock someone’s goals of getting washboard abs or a yoga-booty - I think these are great goals! But they’re superficial goals. And when we make superficial goals, we often exert superficial effort toward achieving those goals. 

Another example. 

One of my long-time friends wants to spend less time working. Now, this one was trickier, because when I asked her why, she responded, “to spend more time with my family”. And this is great, but it’s yet another example of a surface-level goal that doesn’t go deep enough.

Let's Go Deeper

So look, I’ll go into my deeper philosophy on goal-setting another time. But if you’re interested in how to set real goals, either in life or business, check out this awesome piece on goal-setting by Positive Psychology.

But my main point here is - it is easy to make superficial New Year's Resolutions - we feel good about writing something down on paper. It is much harder to understand how these goals are actually a very small part of the larger way we want to grow as human beings.

Washboard Abs ≠ A Resolution

Ok, back to my friends. 

I encouraged my friend aspiring-washboard-abs-guy friend to step beyond just trying to improve his superficial appearance this year. I encouraged him to improve his health. Because getting healthy is not a 5-times-a-week gym thing. It is a mental mindset of self-betterment that extends far beyond the gym, to every aspect of life.

It is about him growing discipline so that after the gym, he gets home and eats healthy. He stretches. Instead of soda he drinks water. Instead of catching the end of the game, he sleeps well. He takes care of his mental health. He becomes the healthiest version of him in every sense of the word.

He’s not trying to get abs. He’s trying to grow into a healthier human being.

Less Work ≠ More Family Time

Now onto my friend who wants to work less. She thinks less work = more family time, but I pointed out that it just isn’t that easy. Why? 

Because more family time doesn’t automatically translate to more quality family time. She can easily spend less time working and more time watching TV with our kids and call that “family time”. 

But watching TV with her kids is not her goal. Learning who her kids are, being a role model for them and gaining their respect is what she wants. So if she spends less time at work, she needs to make the intentional decision to grow as a mother and a wife. To understand that it’s more than time - it’s intention. That means spending intentional time - intentionally planning activities away from the TV and phones, with the goal of growing her relationship with her family.

Time? She doesn’t need more family time. She needs to use her time intentionally, to grow as a mother and wife.

2021 = Growth

I’ve said it in previous posts, but I’ll say it again here. 2021 is the year for real growth. Not superficial growth, in the form of checkmarks on a “to-do” list for 2021. But growing as human beings - as parents, as friends, as citizens, as community members.

Stop limiting yourself to superficial growth and start growing for real.

How To Grow This Year

Now obviously, I can’t speak to specific ways you as a human need to grow. But I can tell you one thing I know forces growth…


Experiences have a way of making you shed your comfort zone - that protective layer we all like to hide behind - in order to show us what’s underneath. THAT’S what experiences help to grow. Not the comfort zone-version of you - but the real you.

The whole idea behind outRise is to make these growth-inducing experiences easier. Every obstacle - planning, vetting, logistics - all of these are reasons not to seek out experiences. With outRise - we did everything we could to remove those barriers so you can spend less time planning, more time playing and more time growing.

This year I challenge you to rewrite your New Year's Resolutions. Don’t limit yourself to superficial checkmarks on a list. Dream bigger, think deeper, and be a better you.

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