Do Happy: Pursue Fewer Goals

This post is republished with permission. Find more of Lori Deschene’s writing at Read the original post here.


“The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed- it is a process of elimination.” ~Elbert Hubbard

A couple weeks back you probably wrote out a list of resolutions; that’s what people do when a new year approaches.  And that’s a wonderful idea.

According to research published in the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, people who explicitly set resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who don’t.

Perhaps your list addressed  multiple areas of your life–professional milestones you’d like to reach, objectives for your health and fitness, experiences you’d like to have.  If you’re a blogger, you may even have listed 50 things you’d like to achieve.  It’s a popular format in the world of online lists.

As impressive as all these plans look on a page–and as capable as you may be–you might find it difficult to follow through with all those good intentions.

As a culture, we tend to think more is better, but this mindset often sacrifices quality for quantity; never mind that it sets most of us up for failure.  When you overwhelm yourself with plans and information you’re likely to get overwhelmed and stop before you start.

Statistically, only 64 percent of people keep moving forward with their New Years resolutions into February; and only 46 keep going beyond the 6-month mark.  The rest slowly go back to what they’ve always done, perhaps recommitting when January comes again.

If you find yourself already losing steam or motivation–or if your past suggests you might do so eventually–now may be a great time to revamp that list you made.

Whittle it down to just a few key goals, making sure each of them is SMART (described in more detail here).  Break each one down into small steps, and spend a little time every day working toward each of them.

Staying focused and committed to a few objectives, and achieving your desired results will be far more fulfilling than making short strides multiple directions.

You may be surprised by how rich your life feels when you do less, but do it better.

Do happy. It’s something you’re due.

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