On Resolutions, Goals, and Other Such Stuff
By Johnny Heller
From the FOR THE HELL OF IT Blog
Every new year we make resolutions. Resolutions to lose weight, to get taller, to drink less – or more – or, hopefully, to drink less loudly.
Resolutions should be looked at for what they are: idiotic attempts to be people we are not or to do things we won’t do. Goals? Goals are wonderful. But resolutions- I don’t think so.
Here’s the thing – you are who you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t make changes, and, in most cases, you probably should! But the changes we can make are much different from the changes we can’t make and it’s important to know the difference.
You can change your perfume. You can change your clothing style. You can change your dogs’ water bowl. But you can’t change your nature.
That doesn’t mean that you’re locked into behaving like a ferndock if that’s your nature. It means that you need to know that you’re a ferndock so you can hide your nature and behave differently. So, your resolution – if you’re a ferndock, woodfart, dillweed or dickfor – is to try to tamp down your surly unpleasant nature and show a better side to everyone – particularly people who might be able to hire you. You will remain a dipstick, a feckless oik, but you CAN resolve not to play that card – at least not right away.
Your resolution to join a gym is why there are so many gyms. In non-COVID-19 times, gym counted on January resolution-makers to swell their coffers and allow them to put up placards suggesting their members wipe the machines after using them. All members ignore the placards, but their presence gives newbies false hope that they won’t catch an STD from the elliptical.
Your resolution to stop drinking will end when you just take that little sip of champagne because “It’s a new year and you feel a toast is in order.”
Your resolution to get taller – well, mine anyway – is just stupid. I must forever be satisfied with only being able to dunk a Nerf basketball and that only if the hoop is exceptionally low.
I am not suggesting you stop resolving to do things; I am suggesting that you resolve to do things you might actually be able to do. I am suggesting that you consider these resolutions as goals. Further, I think you have a better chance of meeting your goals if you do three things:
- Write the goals down.
- Consider an accountability partner so you have a sense of responsibility to actually work toward your goals. This means that you have to be their partner as well. Be there for each other. Help each other and find a way to standardize your road to your goal.
(Also having a partner gives you someone to get hammered with when you fail utterly – “Wow! What were we thinking? We were never ever gonna find a phone number for Twitter Customer Service! Sheesh! What a couple of dickfors! Wanna do shots?”)
- Make the goals attainable. Don’t have “winning an Audie” as your goal. That’s not something you can control. Make the goal doing Audie-winning level work. That, you can control.
Setting goals is a matter of raising your bar higher. And it can be a small thing that, that when you do finally do it, can mean the absolute world to you.
Let’s say you’ve never been able to say: “grasped” in one go and now you’ve been cast to record the 6-book series: “The Adventures of the Masked Mast Graspers”, you might set a goal like: “I will say grasp perfectly for the next 10 pages.” Or, if you can’t, adjust your goal to meet reality and say: “for the next 5 pages.” Eventually, you might have to settle for just one paragraph on one page but that’s the thing about goals. Once you achieve one, you set the next. (One thought -don’t accept a job to narrate a book called Masked Mast Graspers.)
My goal today was to inform you about the importance of goals v the relative unimportance and futility of resolutions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t resolve to set goals. There are exceptions to every rule and there are generally many exceptions to everything I ever say. It is my stated goal, however, to continue saying things.
A BRIEF WORD ON POLITICS
As you read this, the Presidency of Donald J Trump will be a historical reality instead of a real-time nightmare of dystopian dimensions. I do not want to make this a political post but I do want to say that we can never forget that when you elect to the Presidency, a narcissistic, racist, fascist, despotic pathological liar who has zero respect for the Constitution, a creepy sexual chemistry with his own daughter and a willful neglect of science, facts or of humanity, and add the willing complicity of like-minded partisan nobjobs – you are likely to have a very difficult time staying enthused about forming a glee club.
AND NOW, A PLUG OR TWO:
Scott Brick, Johnny Heller and Scott’s Beard would like to remind you that we will be hosting our Annual Audiobook Business Workshop in late March. We will let you know the details, but I did want you to be on the lookout.
It’s a “must not miss” event that you…well, must not miss, if I’m being honest. I intend to attend. And I am looking forward to working with Scott’s beard again.
FEB 17th is my first Splendiferous Webinar of the Year and it’s all about Romance! It will feature James Patrick Cronin, Andi Arndt, Melissa Moran, A.t. Chandler, Sarah Puckett, Erin Mallon, Anneliese Rennie, Joel Froomkin, and me. Here’s the link: