Thinking about setting a New Year’s Resolution this year? Don’t do it.
This is the time of year when everyone sets their sights ahead and vows that, next year, things will be different. Of course, most of them fall short in execution.
I’m not kidding. Research shows that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions, and a whopping 80% of people fail by February. Why even bother setting goals with those odds, right?
There’s nothing wrong with using the landmark of a new year to start setting and working towards your goals. The problems are the goals themselves. I’ve seen so many people set grand resolutions that are nearly impossible to achieve – goals that require them to completely change their behavior when the clock strikes midnight. It’s no wonder so many resolutions fizzle out within a month.
We fail at sticking to our New Year’s resolutions when we don’t commit to the habit.
In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin says that “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” Even if you know what you need to do to be successful and achieve your goals, it will never happen if you’re not fully committed to it.
So, this year, rather than focusing on doing the extraordinary, I urge you to focus on simply being better. Don’t commit yourself to unrealistic or overwhelming goals. Instead, focus on small, realistic, measurable goals that can add up over time. A new year is a new opportunity for you to create the world you want to inhabit. Don’t let your circumstances create a world for you.
This year, give your dreams real power by turning them into reality.
This year, watch where you’re going so you don’t end up where you’re heading. That’s how you get lost.
This year, stop saying I should and start saying I am.
This year, own every decision and circumstance. You make your own weather.
This year choose to be an owner, not a customer. Change your stance, and I promise you, you’ll change your life.
If you’re ready to make this the year you achieve your goals, do these three things:
1. Figure out your why-factor.
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the goal itself and forget the real reason you’re doing something. To prevent this from happening, take a minute and ask yourself why. Jot down your answers.
Why do I want to lose weight?
I want to lose weight so that I look and feel better, improve my health, and get compliments from my friends.
Be brutally honest about why you’re pursuing a goal. Once you’ve written down your “why,” put it someplace where you’ll see it every day. This will serve as a regular reminder.
2. Make your resolution concrete and achievable.
Ask others about their New Year’s resolutions and you’ll often hear things like:
Save more money.
These are bad goals, and here’s why: they’re not smart.
Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. At the end of the year, you should be able to look back and say with 100% certainty whether you were able to accomplish your goal.
Define your goal in terms of the outcome you want to achieve
Ask yourself: How will I know when I’ve accomplished my goal?
Focus on losing five pounds and incorporating healthy foods into every meal. Instead of saving more money, pledge to set aside an additional $200 each month. Instead of stating you’ll read more, set specific time aside each day to read one chapter in a book.
3. Set aside ten minutes per day.
Even realistic goals can be challenging. We all fall off-track or have an off-day here and there, but that’s no excuse to quit. Start by setting aside ten minutes each day for your goals, whatever they are. Whether it’s working out for ten minutes a day, reading for ten minutes a day, or setting aside ten minutes to regroup and see where you are in terms of achieving your goals, that’s all it takes to build a habit.
Forget resolutions this year. Let’s set smart goals and commit to them. If you’re with me, let me know in the comments! By the way, research has shown us over the last 17 years that those who sign up for our races are 28% more successful at committing to their goals than those that don’t sign up. Why? Your mindset changes.