It’s the time of the year when people binge on them. They simply take last year’s new year’s resolutions and move them to this year, then pretend that someday they’ll achieve them.
It’s rare they ever do.
Why? Because if a goal is important then you won’t wait until some stupid date change to do it. You’ll start today. You won’t be able to avoid the goal. It’ll infect your brain. It’ll haunt your sleep.
When I wanted to start writing it was all I could think about. When I sat in useless meetings inside a bank, all I could think about was what I wanted to write when I got home at night.
New year’s resolutions are built on poor frameworks
There’s a whole area of self-improvement that needs to die: passion, purpose, habits.
Passion is what you think about when you have no idea about your life. It’s a sign you’re lost and about to fall off a cliff. I’ve never felt passion. It’s a lukewarm feeling that provides zero motivation.
Passion turns goals into “someday” fantasies.
Goals are even worse. They feel like forced obligations you’re doing because you think it’s good for you, like eating your vegetables. But if you’re forced to do something there’s only so long it’ll persist.
Eventually, logic will kick in and you’ll stop. Or you’ll go on holiday for 2 weeks and come back having forgotten your goals.
I put habits in the same basket. They’re commitments that are forced. If someone has to set habits for you, or if you have to think real hard about them…mayday, mayday something is wrong!
New year’s resolutions sound nice. They are well-meaning. But they’re piss weak. Serious people don’t set goals or make silly little resolutions. No. They have more intensity than that which is why they succeed.
The sneaky solution everyone overlooks
The best replacement for new year’s resolutions is obsession.
Commit in 2024 to double down on your obsession, no matter how silly it seems. Or no matter how unlikely success in this area might be.
Obsession automates your goals. It’s intense. And best of all, you don’t need motivation once you know what your obsession is. All of us have an obsession, the trouble is we won’t admit to ourselves what it is.
We put off our obsession. We dismiss it as “too creative,” or “not monetizable.” It drives me nuts. Starting with how you’re going to make money is the worst idea in history. That’s not the point.
The point is to take what you’re already obsessed with and commit to it. It’s to remove all the pointless stuff wrapped in passion, interest, purpose, goals, and new year’s resolutions and get down to business.
Obsession is driven by curiosity, which is why it’s so easy to pursue. What are you genuinely curious about? I follow two people who embody this ideal perfectly: culture critic and cultural tutor.
Both of them have this weird obsession for history and architecture.
Most normies would argue that what they’re obsessed with can never become anything … yet both creators run massive businesses off these unlikely obsessions.
They live in a way most people dream of because they follow their curiosity, rather than goals and passion set by society and corporations. That’s what people misunderstand.
If you don’t follow your obsession, by default, you’re choosing one of the other options. And those choices lead toward normalcy. They lead toward the traditional paths which are full of traps and are set by others who seek to take advantage of you.
Dan Koe explains this better than I can. He says the mind craves order and new year’s resolutions fit nicely into this category, whereas obsession leads to disorder. It’s what the mind dislikes by default.
If you choose new year’s resolutions and goals, you’re choosing to follow the footsteps of others. If you choose obsession, you’re choosing to follow your curiosity which means creating your own steps.
I beg you to follow your obsession. Stop missing this huge opportunity.
This process cannot be outsourced
The hard part about obsession versus new year’s resolutions is that obsession can’t be outsourced. Piss-weak goals can.
It’s common for people to set new year goals with their boss or friends. Or to rely on free mentors to do the heavy lifting.
Obsession is the lonely option. It’s you against you. All the responsibility and action lies with you which is why so many people avoid this path. There’s no shiny object syndrome. There’s no one to blame.
Author Charles Bukowski says it best:
“I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen, but as the years wasted on, nothing ever did unless I caused it.”
You’re the cause of your obsession. You ignite the spark. You make the decision. You stop choosing mediocrity and a life that lacks intensity.
2024 is the year to choose obsession and change your life. It’s the only proven path, and it provides limitless motivation.