If you are like many people, you may have set New Year’s Resolutions or goals for 2018. Unfortunately, as few as 8% of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions. While there are many reasons people don’t make it past February, here are a few tips on how to avoid giving up on your goals in 2018.
Set New Year’s Resolutions for What You Actually Want
The start of a new year feels like a clean slate…a fresh start. Many people start off the year with great enthusiasm and commitment for their New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st because there is a clear break from the previous year. However, the excitement and enthusiasm for weight loss, savings or other resolutions can quickly fade when obstacles get in our way. The bigger the obstacle, the harder the work required to overcome that challenge. When our desire for change is greater than our desire to avoid the hard work, we find success. When doing the hard work does not feel like it is worth it to achieve our goals- it is much harder to overcome. This is why ensuring we are setting resolutions based on what we actually want is important. In fact, our resolutions should be something we want so badly that we are willing to deal with discomfort, inconvenience and hard work.
Set Goals that are Specific
Because January 1st signifies a new beginning, it is tempting to resolve for major lifestyle changes. By declaring sweeping changes, we often set ourselves up for failure because they lack specificity (for example- I am going to eat healthier). Ambiguity in creating goals not only makes accountability difficult, but it also hinders your ability to measure success. Specificity is the first step in creating SMART goals. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound.
Set Milestones Rather Focusing Only on the End Result
Imagine yourself standing at the base of a mountain, knowing you have to make it to the top. Standing there looking up, the task may seem daunting. New Year’s resolutions feel the same. You set your Big Hairy Audacious Goal and feels like it is looming over you. The best way not to get stuck feeling overwhelmed is to break your big goal into smaller goals. Set milestones along the way and give yourself a sense of accomplishment to feed your continued motivation.
Visualize the Actions You Will Take
In Three Feet from Gold, we defined Action as one of the key factors to the Personal Success Equation. It is through action that we take control of our own destiny and create change for today and the future. When creating your resolutions, ask yourself if you can visualize yourself doing the actions required to successfully achieve your goal. If you can’t see yourself completing the daily, weekly or monthly actions necessary to reach the finish line…it will be harder to get there.
Focus on Today
We are at greater risk of giving up on resolutions when it feels like there is no end in sight. If you have resolved to make a lifestyle change- thinking about permanently changing your habits to be successful often feels like sacrifice rather than victory. Focus on making it through today rather than what may seem like an eternity until you hit your goal.
There is no doubt that setting goals and New Year’s Resolutions is an important part of growth. As you progress through the year, you may hit a wall or even stumble backwards a little. Keep the tips above in mind to set yourself up for success and don’t forget to cut yourself some slack. Remember, everyday can be your January 1st because each day is a new opportunity for a fresh start!