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Reality-check your New Year Resolutions

Blank card with bullet points on black table top next to card with "New Year Resolutions" scribbled in black ink

Do your New Years Resolution lead you where you truly want to go?


If you're a busybody like I am, to-do lists, goal-setting and New Year Resolutions are as irresistible as a pan of brownies. They break down our quest for the perfect life into bite-sized pieces to pursue one square at a time. Yes, yes – I’d like more.


There has been much said about the dangers of perfectionism, and I’m not here to argue against them. Perfectionism is a fast road to burnout, which is a fast track to mental breakdowns, which is a fast track to decreased life expectancy… and so on.


But knowing that perfection is dangerous does little to stop us from perfectioning anyway. Why? Because perfectionism serves us incredibly well: We are almost always rewarded for it. Why else would we do it?


Perfectionism’s advantages are many, chief among them being its ability to protect us from the quiet moments where our past rises up to haunt us. And that’s a very big deal. In this way, it is a protective mechanism meant to not only increase our odds of having a good future but also to keep us from the demons of our past that threaten to sink us.


This is why you can’t make yourself stop perfectioning. Just knowing you’re racing toward burnout is not nearly as compelling as staying two steps ahead of your demons.


Don’t believe me? Try sitting still with no TV, no phone and no music for 15 minutes (without falling asleep) and tell me what happens. Spoiler alert: Your brain starts spinning into a whirlpool with enough force of gravity to suck you to the core of the earth. Or thereabouts.


And yet continuing your perfectionistic life is killing you. It’s killing all of us who can’t get off the nightmarish carousel that promises more than it delivers.


How do we break the cycle?


The first step is to recognize that there is an enormous gap between perfection and your highest, truest self:

  • Perfection is usually defined by others.

  • Your highest, truest self can only be defined by YOU.


Once you know the gap exists, you can start to step into it, explore its contours, peaks and valleys.

  • You don’t have to sit still.

  • You don’t have to be quiet.

  • You don’t have to stop busying yourself.

Hold those demons at bay until you’ve navigated far enough across the gap that they can no longer swamp you – because that’s the magic of the gap: You can only start to slow down once you feel safe enough to do so.


Make 2024 a year that explores the gap between your perfectionism and your authentic excellence by joining my free workshop on Bucket Listing: Discovering whether your New Years Resolutions lead you where you truly want to go.


Jan. 19, 2024

10 a.m. Pacific

During this workshop, I'll show you how to journey into the gap between perfectionism and your most authentic excellence. Then we'll evaluate your goals.


  • Do they belong to perfectionism?

  • Or do they belong to YOU?


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