Last year I posted about not having New Year’s resolutions… hastily constructed, alcohol-fueled, forgotten tomorrow, whinge, rant and so on. I’ll admit this post is me backtracking a little, but I’m cool with that.
A few days ago Sel put an idea to me that she discovered after watching one of her favorite YouTubers. The basic premise is that you create a list of goals you hope to accomplish during the year. Give that list to your partner. Your partner then helps you achieve them. It’s simple, and not too dissimilar to resolutions, but with the crucial addition of an extra person. The extra person makes a difference. You are not only accountable for your own list, but you are also responsible for helping the other person achieve theirs. It’s easy to create weak excuses as to why you didn’t achieve a goal, but the risk of letting your significant other down should be enough motivation to stay on track.
Sel and I first started with categories; health, travel, home, creativity, romance, study, hobbies, start something new, home, finance, and feel good. Some ideas will fit under multiple umbrellas which is fine; there are no rules and categories are not set in stone. We each came up with a list on our own, adding one or two goals under each category. Finally, Sel got creative and made our list visible in a pinboard type thing (see picture below – I have no idea how to describe it any better).
I like this idea and there’s a few reasons why I’m confident it’ll work:
- We’ve kept things realistic. One of my items under health is simply to go to a dentist. Sounds boring huh. Why did I add it to my list? Because I haven’t been to a dentist in over 20 years. Sitting in that dentist chair will be a huge achievement for me, and completely do-able once I get over my irrational fear of drills and needles.
- Not every goal needs to be fanciful. Ideas may sound brilliant in your own mind, especially at 12:05am after you’ve watched fireworks and downed too many G & T’s. It’s only once you say your ideas out loud to another people that you start to notice how they really sound;
Bob: “I want to climb Mt. Everest next month.”
Person more rational than Bob: “But you can’t walk a mile without losing your breath.”
- Not every goal needs to be realised in 2017. As long as you move in the right direction, deadlines are unnecessary. I want to learn Spanish (which I’ve already started). If I reach December 31, 2017, and I can understand and recite a decent vocabulary, plus blurt out some important phrases, I’ll be stoked. I won’t have mastered the Spanish language, but it doesn’t mean I failed. In addition to that, not every item needs to be achieved verbatim. The example the Youtuber gave was that if your partner has a dream to travel to Japan, but halfway through you know it can’t realistically be achieved for at least another year or two, go out for a nice Japanese dinner instead.
- It will strengthen the relationship. When you create a list with another person in mind, you tend to include goals you can achieve together i.e. learning Spanish. Some goals won’t be identical but will work in conjunction. If Sel wants to furnish part of our house with old, rustic furniture, this ties in with my goal to learn handy tips and techniques to play around with (do up) old furniture.
How do you help each other with their goals? This is the easy part, and it can be as simple as reminding the other person to do something, asking them where they’re up to, or providing some encouragement/motivation. Using the Spanish example, we can blurt out words and phrases at random times and see if the other person can respond/translate. Impromptu testing.
We’re only 6 days into the new year, so I’ll see how this pans out over the next 350+. It’s an interesting and fresh take on the usually stale tradition of rattling off meaningless resolutions into the air.
Happy New Year to you all, and here’s to a great 2017!