The New Year’s resolution has become this tradition that we all partake in because we feel compelled to participate. So, how are you doing with yours? Where do you find yourself with accomplishing your goals?
We all know that January is the month when our motivation for improvement is at an all-time high. And this is a good thing; actually, a great thing for us to use to our advantage. It doesn’t get much better than a fresh start, a blank slate and permission to try to thrust our motivation into high gear. New Year, New You, right? According to the “Fresh Start Effect ” our motivation runs higher when we commit to a “fresh start” such as New Year’s Day, Birthdays, or beginning of a week. However, the motivational high doesn’t guarantee success. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop us from hopping on the bandwagon with the hope to improve our lives to only feel discouraged and disappointed when our goals go astray. Based on research from the University of Scranton, 92% of New Year’s Resolutions are destined to fail. Not to fret. Most of us will end up on team-fallen-off track by February simply because we are applying the wrong approach.
Sure, for some of us locking ourselves into a firm decision to do or not to do something is enough to carry us through to victory, but for the rest of us, our determination will inevitably waver when pressed against any sort of resistance. The resolution itself will never be enough to sustain us all the way to success. Resolutions were designed to be the fuel used to ignite and turn our attention to an area we desire improvement. It was never intended to be the driving force, yet for most of us, it’s our one and only actionable step.
So year after year we speak out our intention, our desire, our aim, our aspirations and then we stand back and wait for the magic to happen. We might add a few sprinkles of sheer will-power to get us through the first month but even that eventually fades. As we begin stacking our confidence in the direction of a favorable outcome, deep down we can’t help being acutely aware there’s a really good chance we will fall short before springtime.
How far did you make it into this year before your “resolution” started taking a nose-dive? There is a reason the gyms are empty by February. If you want this year to be different, now is the time to get really honest with yourself. You hold the power to choose to be a part of the other 8% who push past defeat and experience a rewarding result.
None of us enjoy making a great resolution, one we are really excited about, then watching as it quickly becomes a part of the ‘did not complete’ statistic. Let’s break down what went wrong and identify why it didn’t gain enough traction to cross the finish line.
Why Resolutions Fade Away?
Is your resolution aligned with the core values you have or desire for your life. Statistics show we tend to have misconceptions about what will really make us happy; most often we choose more of the external things rather than striving for better habit, healthy lifestyles. Take time to figure out what resolution (efforts) will bring you to the goal you want to achieve. The one that will allow you to feel accomplished, proud and want to do more! Does your resolution for change align and move you towards what you are seeking in your life this year?
No Plan, No Progress
It is not enough to say I want to lose weight, I want to get control of my finances, I want to learn how to salsa dance. Without a plan you will find yourself on the route to doubt and giving up. If your plan is to get up early to pursue your goal, sometimes it’s not as easy as just setting the alarm. When we started to adopt a new morning routine to write our book, we soon learned that getting up at 5 a.m. was not going to become the norm quickly. We realized that there were many more components of our day that would require planning and intention to give us the best chance of following through when 5 a.m. came rolling in. It took many setbacks and resets to find our true morning routine. Here are some questions to consider:
Are you planning the intentional steps (setting your alarm the night before, what time you will go to bed, etc) to move towards your goal?
Are you allowing daily distractions (people pleasing, lack of priorities) to take you off course of your action steps?
ANegative Mindset can takeover. Your inner critic ruins your attempt to reach your goals!
The start of a new year can usher in an optimistic bias. January 1st is our opportunity for a new beginning. We dust ourselves off from the day before and march forward like all the mistakes, failures and blunders of last year are not invited into our new year. We tend to set external goals and get frustrated when they don’t come to fruition. The problem is not the external goal, the external goal serves a purpose; however, if there have been no internal changes, if you approach your blank canvas with the same mindset you will most likely paint the same picture. It’s important to assess whether or not your mindset reinforces or works against the resolution you want to achieve.
The voice of your inner critic will echo old views and negative beliefs you have about yourself. It will fuel doubt and quitting and then kicks you when you fail with guilt and shame.
Don’t quit…Start a RESET today.
Assess what’s not working, it’s ok to tweak the action steps of your original plan.
New Goals Require New Habits
Keep in mind, it’s the process that gets you to the finish line! View any failure as an opportunity for growth and continue to move forward. Make space for new habits to take root. Clear out the old, and look for some new habits to try. Part of the process is assessing your current habits. Oftentimes we are so focused on creating new habits that we neglect to remove the old habits.
Be patient with yourself and the process. We need time to grow into how we are going to pursue our goals to get there. The process, not the final product, is what will lead you to your results! What old habits do you need to eliminate to get you closer to what you say you want to achieve?
If your goal is to drink 80 oz of water every day, it’s important to know what small incremental steps will get you there. Identify what habits are going to help you accomplish that goal each day because it doesn’t just happen because you say you want to do it.
Whatever you do…. BE CONSISTENT long enough to measure
Whatever your goal is, it requires behavior change! Behavior change requires day to day consistency to become your new habit, your new way of doing something that you know will make a difference in your life. If it’s a goal that aligns with something you really want and value that will be your why for “getting up in the morning.’’ Having a strong “WHY” will help you stay the course even when you don’t feel like it. Relying on your feelings to motivate you won’t create the consistency you need to accomplish your goals. Tracking your progress every day will help you stay motivated and let your ‘misses’ teach you about how to overcome it!
Here are some ideas to help you build your consistency:
Align your goals with what’s valuable to you and not the “ought to’s” or what anyone else is doing!
Research how others have been successful – learn from their experience
Try it out to see how practical it will be – when is the best time to exercise am or pm?
Find your Rhythm. What time is better for your workout? AM or PM?
Choice of tools to implement your plan – visualize, journal, track
Goal Mapping – Breaking it down
Have a game plan. Set your intention for each day
Build in Accountability.
Statistics are clear about this one. Just the act of committing to someone, gives you a 65% rate of completing your goal. This increases to 95% if you actually set an appointment to check in with accountability. (ASTD 2017). Excuses begin to fall short when we have a higher accountability to ourselves and others that we value to hold us to our commitment. Have you set up the accountability factor in your planning to be more successful? You may want to examine your own core values about accountability even to yourself first. Do you hold yourself in high regard to follow through with your commitments? It may be a clue to why you don’t value the accountability factor. It’s the one that can really get you across the finish line!
Now believe in you.
Believe in you learning how to grow and move towards your vision for your life.
Believe it can happen – develop confidence, stack your habits, visualize how you would feel at the end of the day when you followed through with the action steps to make your goal a reality.
About the Authors:
Carol Burmood is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with LifeImpact Counseling. She is super passionate about helping people discover and bring purpose-and their-dreams-to-real life. With over 20 years of experience, she has a unique style of combining faith and ‘living with intentional strategies to achieve each person’s purpose-driven goals and dreams. She believes everyone is hard wired to become and live the best version of their lives possible and in turn to help others. Carol co-authored MentorUS, a book designed to walk couples through premarital counseling for her church and community and has led various personal growth groups and provided mentoring. Carol lives in Florida with Dean, her husband of 23 years, and near their daughter, son-in-law and three “amazing” grandchildren.
Desiree Smith-Collis is a mother, Certified Life Coach, Certified Yoga Instructor, and unceasing seeker of knowledge. She graduated magna cum laude from University of South Florida with a degree in Social Work and has always had a heart for helping people strive to find their full potential. She is on a mission to share her hard-earned knowledge in a practical and relevant way to impact those who seek to transform their mind, body, and spirit. Desiree’s heart for people is to help them discover and visualize how to move forward from where they are in their current life and step into a future of utilizing all their gifts and talents and their full potential. She currently resides in Florida with her three children.
Content above written by guest authors, speakers and life coaching experts Carol Burmood and Desiree Smith-Collis for Destination Tampa Bay™. We recently featured their amazon best-selling book You Are Here. These two Tampa Bay women authors have written a life-changing new self-help book that was inspired by their belief that each person is able to pursue greatness and to impact their part of the world. YOU ARE HERE (click for details) is a guide for people who are feeling stuck or unfulfilled and who want to move beyond their current reality but don’t know where to start.
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