This Is My Anti-New-Year-Resolution Idea

It's more human.

Ryan J. Pelton

1/2/20242 min read

scissors and two paper clips beside opened spiral notebook
scissors and two paper clips beside opened spiral notebook

Here we are. A New Year.

Did you crush those health goals?

Make your first million? Run a marathon?

Add another thousand new subs to your socials, YouTubes, and email list?

Cure cancer?

Perhaps, like Ryan Holiday, you chose a word for 2023… how did your word go? How do you measure a word?

Well, I have a word for 2024.

No, make it two words:

Stop Measuring (drops mic).

Yes, I’m going contrarian with no hesitations. The “S” in SMART goals is about specifics. No specifics, no measuring, no obsessing over metrics this year.

The internet and social media are littered with normal New Year Resolution fare:

-I will read 1000 books.

-I will work out 18 times a week.

-I will make one million dollars a day selling fairy dust on Etsy.

Great, if it works for you, go get em’ Tiger!

But this year is going to be different. No measuring, no SMART goals, and for good reason.

My problem with New Year Resolutions is it dehumanizes. It puts people in a box of good, bad, succeeding, or failing. Winners and losers.

Is it inherently wrong to measure things? Keep tabs on business revenue or word counts or weight loss? Not necessarily.

But who decides what the magic number is? Even our weight loss goals are subjective. Okay, so you want to weigh 173 pounds instead of 180? Why? Are those seven pounds the difference between health and death?

You hit 500 words on your book, instead of 800, who cares? Are you moving the ball forward, or not?

Back to the dehumanizing part. How many years did I jump on the scale to see a number I deemed unhealthy after all the months of working out and eating clean… only to feel like trash. Like a failure. Forgetting the goal wasn't a number on a scale, but an overall lifestyle of health.

Much harder to measure.

How many times did I have good intentions of writing 1500 good words a day… and fizzle out in March wondering if writing just isn’t for me?

Measuring things, and making specific goals, have a place. But I believe they often work against our best intentions. Life is not a set of goals to achieve. Our lives aren’t test tubes for experimentation, as some think. Our worth and value has nothing to do with the number on a scale, or Profit and Loss spreadsheet.

Life is sacred and beautiful and meant to be lived. Yes, it should be examined. But how often are our goals and metrics and examination for a productive year subjective? How often are they shallow and selfish?

*Did the room just get quiet?

So this year will be different. Instead of measuring, we’ll show up.

The win isn’t how many pull-ups we did. The win is making it to the gym.

This year, success isn’t how many words we churned out. No, success is making time to write and placing your butt in a chair.

Success in life can’t be measured. It’s not a seen thing. How can you measure presence, love, kindness, or integrity? You can’t.

Showing up and doing our best is the win. Being a decent human when nobody is looking is the win. Leading a quiet and humble life and service to others is always better than loud and proud and selfish.

My words this year are:

Stop Measuring.

I give you permission in 2024 to stop measuring everything. Your worth and value can’t be quantified on a scale, bank statement, or subs on an email list.

Let’s show up and see what happens.

Who is with me?

*Originally published on The Prolific Creator (