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5 surefire ways to sabotage your resolutions
Don't let the crowd drag you down the road of keeping goals. Here's how to fail before you even start. - photo by Wendy Jessen
It's the time of year when you may be feeling some level of pressure from family, friends, co-workers, or even the media, to set goals or make New Year's resolutions. Perhaps you've even, begrudgingly, set a few that you have no intention of keeping.

To help you along the way, here are 5 surefire ways to sabotage your goals:

1. Don't tell anyone your goal

If someone knows about your goal, they will most definitely remind you (or, rather, nag you) about it. But if no one knows, there's no accountability. No one to answer to. And, most importantly, no one to make you feel guilty when you don't make it to your goal. So, SHHH! Keep it all a secret.

2. Do not write your resolution down

Writing down goals makes it seem more real or specific. Just keep it in your head where you can change it, or better yet, forget about it.

If it's written down, you are making yourself accountable to yourself. You can't let yourself down; that's just wrong. Store the goal in some far recess of your brain and bury it in everything else that's going on. No memory of it, no guilt when you don't do it. No paper lying around reminding you of the goal you're not keeping.

3. Be completely vague

Why decide to lose twenty pounds when you can just lose some weight?

You don't need to quit eating junk food altogether, just eat less of it. Being specific means you are taking specific steps and coming up with a plan. Being vague is nicely non-committal and allows for no real goal to be set. And, it's easily modifiable, allowing you to not really accomplish anything at all.

4. Set unrealistic goals

Create impossible resolutions. "Dream the impossible dream." Those are easier to give up on because you can't do them. If you're not athletic at all, set a goal to be in the Olympics. Perfect. Not gonna happen.

If you're tone-deaf, setting a goal to win a music competition is highly unlikely. If you can't spell or have terrible grammar, writing a book is a perfectly unrealistic goal.

5. Choose goals completely out of your control

A perfect resolution is to not have any car trouble this year. You won't have to go through with it, because you can't control when your car may need a mechanic. Decide you'll be on the New York Time's bestseller's list, because you have no control over how many books you'll sell (if any at all). How about growing several inches taller? Growing an extra limb? Just make sure it's so far out there, there's no way it could happen.

Don't give into the awful frenzy-induced tradition of setting real goals. Resolutions or goals just lead to disappointments and failures. Sure, some might pop into your head, some vague ideas of how you ought to improve your life, but those thoughts will go away soon enough.
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