Most of us treat the New Year as a way to "start over, remotivate", or just change. It makes sense, I do it, but the problem is nearly 45% FAIL by the END of January. That means most of us can't even make it a measly 31 days with a new goal. Even more negatively, only 8% will actually meet their resolutions, including yours truly with some. How can we set ourselves up for success rather than failure? How can we become the 8%?
I guarantee the 8% who did succeed would describe how other aspects of their lives are even better indirectly, just from accomplishing that resolution. I don't know about you, but my goal is to be the 8%, always.
78% Fail to reach those goals!!!! One of the reasons according to Richard Wiseman, is that most people focus on the negatives or downside of not reaching their goal. They become more concerned on failing than achieving. Losing weight is not just going to happen by posting a picture on the fridge of a great looking body. You have to set up your goals in a step-by-step approach.
So before you run out and buy the newest Self Help book or program just to watch it sit on your shelf hoping it will make you better through osmosis you need to know how to set yourself up for success.
Here is how:
This information comes from a book I highly recommend, 59 Seconds, Change your Life in Under a Minute, by Richard Wiseman. Before saying this is just another self help book, you need to understand how it was written. He is a researcher into psychology and he has studied just about every aspect of achievement and self help. Most of the tactics in other books are just "snake oil" remedies. He explains what actually works so you don't waste your time.
How to Set up a Resolution that actually works:
1. First write down your Overall goal
2. You have to tell people about it. (make yourself accountable) For me, I am going to loose 20lbs of fat by June 1st. My weight will be 185lbs not 205. So there now I am accountable
3. Make a list of the benefits to achieving your overall goal. (focus on how much better you will feel, how your family will feel)
4. Break your overall goal into sub-goals, make it a step by step process. (like an instruction booklet for your life) Break it into of smaller steps (max 5) Make it concrete, measurable, realistic, and time-based. Think about how you are going to get to each step and most importantly, reward yourself once you reach each sub-goal. It could be anything, a new outfit, ice cream, a massage, you name it.
5. Have it in Writing, those who are most successful write it down and review it everyday.
In a recent study he conducted of 700 people. He found that the people who planned a series of smaller goals had an average success rate of 35%, while those who followed all five of the above strategies had a 50% chance of success.
Goals can be accomplished. I know this first hand. I have set several goals in my lifetime (open my own practice within 5 years of leaving school (did it in 3) , become a "go to" for chiropractic care in Asheville (think, best of WNC). Have 3 kids and our own home.
Some of my goals are successful and some are not (the 20lbs of bodyfat has been tough). One thing I have learned is that you will not make all your goals, and some may take forever, but if you try these steps above and really work at looking at them daily you will become more successful in every aspect of your life, whether it is the big goal you were working towards or just the small goals along the way "Success bleeds Success".
I'll close with this...
"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment."
Now go out and buy and journal and start the year right!!!
Wiseman, Richard, "59 Seconds, Change your Life in Under a Minute" 2009. pp. 79-93
Ninety-two percent of New Year's Resolutions Won't Be Kept
By Living On The Up Beat, LLC
December 14, 2005