How I Set a Simple Goal for 2019.

That's a perfect push-up

At the end of last year, I wrote about three types of goals to set in the new year: Learning goals, personal goals, and fitness goals. I wrote:

This is the time of year when people commit to New Year’s Resolutions — which inevitably end up discarded by the time February rolls around. So instead of setting a major resolution you’ll fall short on, start smaller. Start with something that’s going to help you grow, or feel more connected to your friends or community.

I’ve tried to put that idea into practice in 2019, starting with a simple fitness goal: Doing 10 push-ups, every day.

I don’t like doing push-ups. At the gym, I always felt self-conscious when I got down to do a push-up. I felt like the people around me would judge: Did he just get tired from a few push-ups? Is that all he can do?

So I set a truly simple goal: 10 push-ups, every day. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up. If I stick to this goal, I’ll do over 3,500 push-ups in 2019. I’d bet that’s more push-ups than I’ve done in the rest of my life — combined!

And I’ve discovered: I actually don’t mind doing push-ups! After a few weeks of my daily push-up routine, I feel more confident when I do them at the gym. In the morning, if I need a jolt of energy before I leave for work, I might drop and do 10. Often, I’ll add an extra set, since 10 push-ups isn’t that hard anymore.

It’s a simple goal, and a small goal. But by committing to the task every single day, it’s going to build to something that, by year’s end, I can be proud of.


That photo of a perfect push-up, by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller of the U.S. Army, is re-used here thanks to a Creative Commons license.