It’s a new year…. will it be a new you?
Ah, it’s that fateful time of year again. Time to reflect on the year gone by and set resolutions for our best self to emerge. It can be thrilling to think about, scary to commit to, and give us instant anxiety as soon as we have chosen. According to recent studies, January the 12th is the day most people quit their new resolution. Just 11 days after committal, 80% of people have already given up on their new goal. Surprisingly, we are only talking about less than 50% of the population here. Over 50% chose not to make a New Year’s resolution at all!
Were these people never taught the importance of goal setting? Maybe, the failure rate of the past has scared them into submission. The idea of setting big, challenging goals might just be too much for them. Unfortunately, I can’t help that half. However, I can share tips and strategies to the people who understand what goals can do for their life.
But remember, the odds are stacked against you. Even if you set the goal, and make it past January 12th, your goal only has an 8% chance of survival… Why?
It could be the goal itself
We need to do a better job self-assessing and create goals that make sense for us. A good goal will meet you where you are today but challenge you into growth.
Certainly, it’s always a smart idea to do a deep dive before setting any new goal!
Does my mind light up when I think about achieving this goal?
Am I prepared to have the fortitude to stick with it, long after the excitement is gone?
Is this something I really want for myself?
What will I need to adjust to achieve this goal?
Do I have the time/resources to see this goal through?
What if the goal is not the problem?
If the goal does truly make us shine, then why is the failure rate still so high? According to Happy Habits the top reasons are:
- Unrealistic – make goals that meet you where you are at today
- No accountability – you need a starting point, mile markers, and a finish line
- Too many – the old-adage more is less rings true here
- Forgot – didn’t make it a top priority
- Big picture – unable to change factors around the habit
- Too generic – broad statements like “loose weight” or “save more money” don’t rev up the engine like “loose 10 lbs. over the next three months” or “save $100 more each paycheck”
- No system – how will you attain the time/resources to work on your goal every single day?
What can I do to be part of the 8% in 2021?
According to Peter Drucker, in Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: Developing and Applying a Forward-Focused Mindset, we greatly overestimate what we can do in 1 year, and wildly underestimate what we can achieve in 5 years. The answer: We need to create longer visions for ourselves and work on our plan every single day!
We have the tendency to set big goals for New Years and want the results in a short time span, setting us up for failure. Make sure to have a future oriented mindset where you dream the big dreams and all the steps it will take to get you there. Then, you create consistency around your “goal thought patterns”. When will you think about your goals? How long will you set aside each day? What skills will you need to acquire?
A mantra is a short phrase that you repeat frequently. It is personal about you so always make sure to say, “I” or “I AM” at the beginning. The words you chose to say after should invoke a strong positive feeling in you. Lastly, you want to visualize what that looks like in your minds’ eye.
You can repeat the same mantra all day, all week, or for as long as you see fit. The more you engrain it to your subconscious, the more your mind will work to make your dreams come true.
It could look like:
- financially well off
- my ideal weight
- Phrase – short and easy to say
- Visualization – clearly see the goal in your minds’ eye
- Feel – most importantly, as you repeat your mantra, you try to deeply connect to the feeling. You want the warm, fuzzy feeling as if you have already achieved the goal.
WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN
There is something magical that happens when we write down our goals. You might be thinking, Wow, that sounds easy. The truth is self-assessment is hard. Challenging yourself to take a big thought and make it real by writing it down seems too real for most of us. And we often give up before we even start. When you first write down your goals it might feel a little awkward and clumsy. Brian Tracy gives the most life changing advice in his series The Ultimate Goal Program. Check out a taste of his proven system here.
Stick with it every single day and undoubtedly you will achieve your goal. There is no option! You can’t write about it every day and then do the opposite. The more you write it down, the more you behave in that fashion. The more you change your behavior, the easier it is to see the goal happening. Hold yourself accountable by looking in that mirror every time go sit down to write your goals.
GET THE HARD STUFF DONE FIRST
When you do the hardest thing on your list first, you gain confidence and momentum. You feel the pride of following through on your word. Don’t fall into the excuse trap and hinder the chance of achieving your goals! What are the things you are dreading to do? What kind of distractions do you create when there is no motivation? When we proactively know our triggers and behavior, we rise above and create new healthier habits.
Stress creates an environment where our brain favors routine behaviors and goal-oriented behaviors tend to get derailed. Your goal is probably hard and it might be new to you. We tell ourselves that we deserve something comforting when things are difficult. We make excuses, self-sabotage, and talk ourselves into living below our potential. You can’t afford stress to take out your New Year’s Resolution!
Here are the top stress reduction techniques that work for me:
- Get enough rest
- Drink enough water
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink less alcohol
- Get enough exercise
- Deep belly breaths
- Meditation mantras
- Letting go of things I can’t control
- Unplug from technology
- Get out in nature
- Read / write
I hope some of these strategies help you navigate your New Year’s Resolution this year!
Cheers to 2020 behind us… peace out ✌
Looking forward to a wildly successful 2021!
Click here to download your FREE copy of 6 Leadership Wins