Another year has come and gone and many of us wonder if we are any the wiser for it. As you read this, you can probably recall years past, and the resolutions you made that did not last through the month; 37% of people will have abandoned their resolutions within eight weeks. On average, 100 million Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year and at least 90% of people will fail before the year is out. Why? Because they did not have clearly defined goals or a committed plan of action. In fact, 70% of people don’t have any goals in life whatsoever. Twenty five percent of people say they have goals, but don’t physically write them down or record them and only 5% of people have clearly stated and recorded their goals. According to Harvard Business School, the 5% that record their goals achieve more personally and professionally than the rest of the 95% combined, and are dramatically more likely to be financially successful. No matter how many diets you have quit, or self-help programs you have failed to start, one year from today you can be in a much better place, if you choose to be. The key to making successful resolutions is to set specific goals and commit to taking daily action steps until you achieve your desired results.
There Are Only 3 Reasons Why We Don’t Achieve New Year Resolutions:
1. CLARITY – We don’t set specific New Year’s resolutions
2. STRATEGIES – We have specific written goals, but we haven’t recorded the strategies to achieve these goals
3. IMPLEMENTATION – We don’t have an easy system for implementing our New Year’s resolutions and on-going monitoring
Making a resolution is easy. Keeping it takes work!
Resolutions are a process, not a one-time effort. In order to achieve your desired results, you will need to create new habits and, once this is successfully accomplished, follow up on such behaviors over the years. Our success or failure is determined one day at a time with every choice we make; our current habits are the greatest indicator of future results. One second is all it takes to choose a new thought, a new thought leads to a new attitude, which, when programmed for success, can lead you to the fulfillment of your goals and dreams. No matter who you are, there is probably room for improvement in your life.
You can redirect your life at any time, not just for the New Year; resolve to choose something better or different for yourself and commit to following the steps needed to achieve these goals. Remember that you alone can make the choice. I hope this is the year you do!
This year, set resolutions you will keep! The following seven steps to success will help you to set realistic goals, while empowering you to achieve them.
1) Mental Reprogramming- Our minds and the thoughts we choose are the central guiding force in our lives, drawing to us the experience that matches our thought patterns. Often it is only our own self-defeating thoughts that stand in the way of our goals. People are afraid of failing, looking stupid or of not being enough, so they will convince themselves they can not, before even giving something a try. Take a moment to explore your own thoughts and see if you are programming yourself for success, or for failure?
2) Positive Projections-Think it. See it. Feel it. Be it. Let your imagination run wild
and reveal to you what your life can be. See yourself succeeding. You are strong, confident and courageous. You can do anything! Trust that you are able and then choose to be willing.
3) What’s the Price? What’s the Payoff? Everything in life has a cost; in order to say yes to one thing, we must say no to another. Our time is the greatest commodity we have and how we choose to spend it often increases or decreases our level of enjoyment and success in life. Are you spending your time well? Every choice you make is an investment; if you sow seeds of success (commitment, persistence, organization, etc …) you are sure to reap the rewards.
4) Is it a wish or a goal? Until you set a time frame for completion, your desired outcome is merely a wish and not a goal. A goal is something that can be measured. When you commit to a goal, set specific time lines and guide posts, so that you can track your progress. It is also important to review your goals at least twice yearly. Time passes and people change. Are your current goals in alignment with the current you, or are you trying to fit in to someone else’s life?
5) Commitment, Commitment, Commitment: Until you alone make the choice to commit to your resolutions and goals, they will be merely wishes. The most common resolutions people make regard their health; 60% of Americans die from health related issues caused by their own behaviors, such as overeating, smoking and poor exercise.
Make the commitment; in order to say YES to my best life, I will have to say NO to…?
6) Make a map to your destination: If you know where you are going, you will find a way to get there. Same as you would chart the direction to a destination you were driving, so too must you clarify where you are heading in life. Every journey begins with one step…
7) Daily Action Steps: To strengthen your conviction and align with your goals, it is important to take action daily. As mentioned, a goal is measurable. Let’s say you want to write a book, in just twenty minutes a day, you could complete this task with in the year. An equal amount of time spent exercising daily, could help you drop a couple dress of sizes, while adding 10+ years to your life.
If you are still unsure about what type of changes you are willing to make, or possibly need, honestly answering the following questions will help you gain clarity.
- If absolutely nothing changes in my life/current situation, will I be where I want in 1, 5, 10, year(s)? Do I even know where I want to be?
- What are my values and am I honoring them?
- What gets me most excited? When am I most alive?
- What choices can I make to bring my life more meaning, joy and fulfillment?
- What do I really want and need? Ask yourself this question over and over, until you get to the truth. Often our first inclination is to give a programmed response or the answer we think people want to hear. What is most exciting is that our purpose is custom designed to fit exactly who we are, not necessarily who we think we should be.
Get online support and find resources to help you complete your goals:
Make the commitment to yourself with a resolution contract:
What are the Top 10 New Year Resolutions?
PS: My own New Year resolution is quitting smoking, a dirty habit I never should have picked up again. I am replacing this with frequent walks and additional exercise and my reward will be a trip to the dermatologist, to rejuvenate my skin. I intend to be smoke free by the time this goes to print, on 01/01/2006; my plan is to use nicotine replacement therapy for a minimal time, join an online support group to hold me accountable and encourage my progress and to use empowering mantras to help me em
brace my new status as a non-smoker. Keep me in your prayers…