We all know the story. We make grandiose plans to change our lives and achieve new goals when the ball drops on the New Year and despite our best efforts these New Year’s dreams go unrealized. According to the University of Scranton around 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve them.
Imagine year after year, making a commitment to ourselves just to break it. Year after year, we lie to ourselves. Year after year, we stay the same in the areas we’d most like to change.
Why Don’t We Keep Those Commitments?
When people sit down and envision their future, their next adventure, or their next version of self – it’s exciting. No one sets out with the intention to lie to themselves. The thing is, most people lose that excitement to make progress towards their goals as time edges further away from January 1st. This happens for 2 key reasons:
- Most people don’t keep their goals somewhere they can see every day or are reminded of them constantly.
- Most people don’t break down their resolutions into bite size chucks for weekly, monthly, and quarterly achievement.
These simple steps are critical to our success when it comes to making good on our New Year’s goals.
So What Can Be Done About It?
To give ourselves the best chance of getting what we want, the first step is to write the goals down everywhere! On average we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals when we write them down.
Placing the goals in places we will see them daily like on Post-Its on our bathroom mirror, on the dash of the our car, or as the backgrounds of our phones will make sure they are at the forefront of our minds. When we think about them daily, we tell our reticular activating system (part of brain that filters the information we take in) that they are important. By doing so, our brain becomes focused on recognizing the opportunities to achieve these goals.
Goal achievement is a series of decisions we make and the outcomes they produce. When our goals are imprinted in our minds, daily, it’s easier to make decisions towards their attainment.
Break It Down
New Year’s resolutions can seem daunting and begin to become overwhelming. The best gift we can give ourselves is to think of the smallest steps we can take, that will build upon each other to get the goal.
Map out the weekly objectives that lead to milestones that eventually compound into the complete goal. For example, if you aim to lose 50lbs start with the goal of 5lbs a month and break that down weekly. Then think of the smallest life changes you can make to ensure you lose the weekly objective and do them. They say you eat an elephant one bite at a time and that is how you achieve your goals.
We now have everything we need to go to make the most out of our New Year. Now, we just think of what it is we want to do… and go do it!
By Mona Nyree Stephens, contributing author
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