New Year's is here—a time when many people are making resolutions for how to live better or at least differently this year. There are generally several fallacies about making resolutions:
The first is that most people think if you set goals once a year, that is enough. Effective goals need to be re-examined almost every day. Tweaked. Sharpened as you go. Modified. Re-defined. They are strongly enacted only as they are continually set before your mind.
The other mistake is in telling others about your goals. In the telling, you already have your reward--the "wow" from others. People-pleasing is the surest thing to dissipate your resolve. Why should you work at it? You already gave yourself the psychological reward of looking impressive in front of others who perhaps did not set such goals. The unwise telling emanates from a subtle one-upmanship.
It’s just like with tithing/giving. The power is in the privacy of the act. The more private our good deeds, the better. The hidden life is the authentic life.
In addition, telling goals opens one up to the possibility of ridicule and opinions galore. Just do it.
Let us be people of depth in every way possible. We do well to be quietly resolving, quietly doing, and quietly becoming. This shields us from hypocrisy and vain glory. To live like this follows Christ's excellent example. He surprised the entire universe when He went public via the resurrection, after living the full-orbed, deeply profound, hidden life. This is the kind of life that matters for eternity.
For more thoughts on this topic, read our eBook on Goal Setting and Time Management.