The Year Ahead: 2024

My favorite time of year is now behind us: Christmas. The weather cools down (I live in Florida, so that’s a little iffy), the neighborhood lights up with decorations, people are a little more friendly, church services are more full than normal, Nichole and I get to watch cheesy holiday movies, and we get to work through all our favorite traditions with our boys.

As the Christmas season closes and we move deeper into winter there is now a new year to look forward to which means it’s time for new year’s resolutions.

Resolution

A firm decision to do or not to do something.

I’m not a big fan of resolutions. They are often lofty, unattainable (realistically anyway), and leave little room for error which means people abandon them as soon as things start to go off the rails even a little. Saying “I resolve to go to the gym 3 times a week” psychologically gives you an out as soon as you miss that third day. It creates the feeling of “I said I was going to go this, I messed it up, now my streak is done, and I don’t need to keep trying.” In fact, almost 25% of people give up on their resolutions in the first week, and more than 2/3 give up before the end of January.

Goal

The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Instead, I like to set goals. Goals give you something to aim for but allow for the inevitable error and adjustment that comes along with being human and needing to respond to life events. Someone with the goal of exercising 3 times a week that has a lot of travel coming up would have the freedom to exchange the gym with a jog around the park or a workout in their hotel room before an early morning flight. And if they don’t hit the goal that week, then they can evaluate what went wrong, how they can do better and get back to it the next week. Or if they set a goal of 5 days at the gym, they may have a baby and realize that’s no longer viable and adjust to 2 gym days with walks on the other days.

Are those two things really all that different. No, of course not. But the mindset that comes with resolutions vs. goals tends to be very different.

What then are my goals for the new year? Some of these are aimed at being healthier so I can live a long, fulfilling life for my family. Some of these are centered around being more intentional with my time. And likely the most important are about deepening my relationship with Jesus Christ. Some of these I already do and want to make sure I don’t lose focus, some are things I don’t do well and want to improve, and others are areas I haven’t started yet.

  1. Read through the entire Bible this year (The Bible Recap)
  2. Pray every day with the family and on my own
  3. Listen to 1 audiobook each month (I’m not a big reader, but I’ll listen!)
  4. Dedicate as much time between 5:00 PM and the boys bedtime to my family as possible (less screen time/work and more play time with the kids and talk with Nichole)
  5. Spend more quality time with Nichole after the boys go to bed (puzzles, crafts, just chatting)
  6. Get more sleep (fewer work until 2:00 – 3:00 AM nights)
  7. Daily walk and/or bike ride with the family
  8. Do something outside with the family every weekend (bike trail, kayak, beach, park trip, etc.)
  9. Eat better (less Dr Pepper, more meals at home, fewer carbs, more veggies, all that good stuff)
  10. Reduce and shift the kind of content I consume (more history, Bible commentary, educational material and fewer TV shows/movies)
  11. Create more content than I did last year (more blogs, more videos)

What do you think?
Am I nitpicking about settings resolutions vs. goals?
What are you resolving to do this year?
What goals are you setting for yourself?

About the author

Bradley Schacht

Bradley Schacht is a Principal Program Manager on the Microsoft Fabric product team based in Jacksonville, FL. Bradley is a former consultant, trainer, and has authored 5 SQL Server and Power BI books, most recently the Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide. As a member of the Microsoft Fabric product team, Bradley works directly with customers to solve some of their most complex data problems and helps shape the future of Microsoft Fabric. He frequently presents at community events around the country, is a contributor to sites such as SQLServerCentral.com, and is a member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (JSSUG).

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Bradley Schacht

Bradley Schacht is a Principal Program Manager on the Microsoft Fabric product team based in Jacksonville, FL. Bradley is a former consultant, trainer, and has authored 5 SQL Server and Power BI books, most recently the Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide. As a member of the Microsoft Fabric product team, Bradley works directly with customers to solve some of their most complex data problems and helps shape the future of Microsoft Fabric. He frequently presents at community events around the country, is a contributor to sites such as SQLServerCentral.com, and is a member of the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group (JSSUG).

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