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New Year’s Resolutions and Parkinson’s Law

By Tommy Allen

I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now: Don’t make a New Year’s resolution.

Seriously, why do it? 

You know you’re not going to follow through with it, so why set yourself up for failure? And do you know why you and millions of other people will not achieve your 2021 New Year’s resolutions? 

Because of Parkinson’s Law.

If you’re not familiar with Parkinson’s Law, it’s the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted. Put simply, the amount of work required adjusts to the time available for its completion.

Think of it like this: When you were in school and the teacher assigned a paper or project on Monday that was due on Friday, you probably didn’t do it that night. You waited until Thursday night to start and finish the paper. That’s Parkinson’s Law.

It’s the same with New Year’s resolutions. If you set a goal in January and give yourself 12 months to reach it, it’s probably not going to happen. You might be gung-ho the first week or two, but then you’ll get sidetracked, tell yourself you have 11 more months to achieve it and forget all about it. 

So does that mean you should never set big goals? Of course not. But let’s set small, manageable goals instead of one big goal. A coach can help you break down the steps into manageable chunks.

Say you want to lose 20 lb. this year. Make your first goal to eat one serving of vegetables at each meal for two weeks.

After you have conquered that goal, make 45 minutes of exercise four times a week your goal. Then go on to the next small goal and the next one and so forth.

Eventually, you’ll have achieved all of these small goals, and they will have helped you reach your really big goal for the year. 

So in 2021, avoid New Year’s resolutions and Parkinson’s Law. Go for the short, small goals and see how much you’ll succeed.

Even better, don’t wait until January 1st to start. Start today to build momentum into the New Year!

Happy New Years!

– The District H Team

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