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Forget Your New Year’s Resolution and Just Commit to Being Terrible at Something for 30 Days

Jessica Stillman

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It’s the second week of 2023. How is your resolution going? Given that something like 80 percent of resolutions fail, I’m guessing the answer for a great many of you will be, “What resolution?”

So does that mean you have to give up on self-improvement until next year? No, thankfully. As artist and author Austin Kleon pointed out on his consistently delightful blog recently, there’s another option.

Instead of demanding more from yourself you can relax into glorious imperfection — in the end you’ll probably end up getting further than if you drive yourself to excellence.

Lower your standards to raise your game

The obvious truth is that we’re all terrible when we start a new habit or hobby. But as natural and unavoidable as this may be, lots of folks really hate being bad at things. In fact, we often give up (or even fail to start) because we’re so uncomfortable with our own incompetence.

The solution isn’t to beat yourself up for not doing better faster. Nor is it to put things off until some magical future time where you’ll go from useless to awesome near instantaneously. Instead, it’s to embrace sucking for a while.

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Jessica Stillman

Top Inc.com columnist/ Editor/ Ghostwriter. Book lover. Travel fiend. Nap enthusiast. https://jessicastillman.com/