As we enter another new year, millions of us are making our new year’s resolutions as we do each year. STOP!!!
Did you make new year’s resolutions last year? How’s that going? Per the Statisticsbrain website, only 9.2% of people meet the new year’s resolutions that they set for themselves. So, what is going on? I know when I make them, it is never my intent not to make the goal a reality. But after spending that last year training to be a life coach and my past learning of how to set goals that I could meet, I realize now what we do wrong when we set these resolutions up.
We overpromise ourselves and then stress and finally defeat ourselves from meeting these resolutions. This is because we still have so much to learn about how to set proper goals and can plan for and meet them.
Stopping for a second, let’s think about what is going wrong and why we frustrate ourselves when we set these resolutions.
1. The first mistake we make is that we are setting time against this goal. It’s not that time shouldn’t be a part of the planning, but time associated with a specific day, like new year’s is a bit much. In truth, goals should be things that we are setting all throughout the year and not just working toward one special day.
We never have enough time and sometimes life gets in the way. It’s like what John Lennon said many years ago, ‘Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans. Chances are that some walls will go up that you didn’t expect as you head toward your goal. You can’t get frustrated, but simply find a way around it, even if it costs you time. Because remember, you didn’t set time up against the goal. Step two will explain this further.
2. The goals we set at new years are usually too big to meet and we get easily frustrated. A goal should be something that is achievable and that you know, going in, is something you can do. This includes what I call “losing the ending” of the goal that you are probably coming up with.
Here’s an example. If you want to lose weight and want to make it a resolution, then the goal should be “I want to lose weight this year.” It should not be “I want to lose 50 pounds this year.” See the difference?
Here’s a real-life example from my life. As I worked on my own health, I wanted to start running in races to encourage me to exercise. I started at the usual 5k run. I didn’t say “I want to run in a marathon.” I just started with a small race. I didn’t even set a time for me to do it in. Did I succeed? Yes, and it felt good. But if I said I wanted to run the 5k in 20 minutes, well…I would have failed at my goal.
As I worked up to running a half-marathon and ran that a few years later, guess what? I still didn’t put a time on doing it. I was simply thrilled that I finished it. Heck, I got the same bling as all the others, so what did that matter?
See how this works. Lose the ending. If it’s weight, just work to lose weight. Leave the numbers alone. If it’s to exercise, just be happy you went. Not how much time you did it. Just that you did it. This is critical to your brain feeling successful.
3. Have someone hold you accountable to your goal and push you forward. When we go to work or school, don’t we have deadlines and a teacher or boss to oversee our completion and answer our questions? This is the same as any goal or resolution you make. Find a family member, friend, or even someone like me, a Life Coach, to hold you accountable. Again, it is so important to know that you feel like you have someone pushing you to success. This is yet another known researched method to find that you can succeed at your goal.
Of course, you must really want to do what you say. Don’t just make a resolution. In fact, I think you should stop the practice of the new year’s resolution altogether and just set goals to meet in your life. Work with someone who can help you succeed and remember to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they are.
So, as we enter this new year, think about any resolution you might have made and think about changing it if it doesn’t match the above ideas. You will find that you can be much more successful and actually meet the goals that you make that are realistic for you. The satisfaction you will feel when you meet that small goal will spur you on to keep going, instead of defeating you.
Oh, one last thing. You should always have a goal to be working on. All of us have something to work on and it doesn’t have to be big or hard. It just needs to be something you can do and feel good about. Best of luck!