Most people start out the New Year by making terrible resolutions.

  • “This year, I want to start a business.”
  • “This year, I want to read 52 books.”
  • “This year, I want to get a great body.”
  • “This year, I want to find a girlfriend.”

These goals mean well, but in reality, they’re terrible resolutions. That’s because they’re binary. They exist as either complete or incomplete.

You don’t realize it at first, but over time they wear on you. After a few months, you realize that you haven’t started that business, you haven’t gotten that great body, you haven’t found that girlfriend or read those books. So you feel as though you’re a failure.

This stops you from making progress altogether.

Instead, accomplish your goals by turning your “binary” resolutions into processes.

Instead of “start a business,” say “every weekday morning, I’m going to make my favorite coffee and set aside 20 minutes to work on a business idea.”

Instead of “read 52 books,” say “when I climb into my bed at night, I’m going to read 10 pages of a good book.”

Instead of “get a great body,” say “every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes before leaving for work.”

Instead of “find a girlfriend,” say “every other Sunday, I have to try something new – whether it’s a walk in the park, a local class, or a new restaurant. And if I catch myself admiring a girl, I have to compliment her.”

Implement the easiest one in January. Don’t think about the end result – only think about the process. (For instance, never ask yourself when you’re going to get a better body – just think “Today, no matter what, I’m going to lift some weights. I don’t care what happens. I’m just going to lift them, and that’s that.”)

Don’t reflect. Don’t project. Just do it.

Once your first resolution becomes a habit (which will take approximately one month), add the next easiest resolution.

Since you’re smart, you’ll do this correctly, and your progression will be:

  • Month 1: Exercise
  • Month 2: Exercise, Business
  • Month 3: Exercise, Business, Read
  • Month 4: Exercise, Business, Read, Girlfriend

Six months into the year, you will have:

  • Exercised 78 times.
  • Worked on your business for over 54 focused hours.
  • Read 1,217 pages of good books.
  • Talked to 6 people of the opposite sex.

You will also witness your transformation into an “automatically” athletic, entrepreneurial, well-read, and confident person.

Obviously, you can replace those goals with some of your own. Maybe you don’t care about having a business or about getting a partner – maybe you just want to eat healthier foods, or you want to make more friends, or you want to train for a big event. Whatever it is, develop a process that you can enjoy in order to get there.

Making consistent progress is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. But only at first. After a month, each of your resolutions becomes ingrained in who you are. After a month, you’ll automatically do the work and reap the results without even realizing it.