Popular New Years Resolutions
- Get Healthy
- Lose Weight
- Eat Better
- Drink Less
- Quit Smoking
- Learn something new
- Finish your education
- Get a Better Job
- Save Money
- Manage Debt
- Manage Stress
- Take a Trip
Based on the statistic that 8% of people with a New Years Resolutions successfully complete them, we know that most of us make a resolution with high hopes, then something happens. The goal is something we say is important to us, yet within a week 75% of us have already moved on, put the resolution in the junk draw and basically gone back to life as usual. It’s like we love the idea, but we don’t have enthusiasm for the work that goes into changing a habit or working on a goal. So, how do we continue to generate enthusiasm after the first flush of New Years has left us? Here are some ideas.
Be a Decider. Don’t just go with the crowd when it comes to your New Years Resolutions or goals, get individual and decide what is really meaningful to you. If everyone wants to do xyz, but your heart really isn’t in it, what is your heart open to? Imagine looking back on 2015, what would be one or two things that would make you feel like you had honored yourself? What would you like to say about yourself to others? What would make you feel proud of yourself? Write that down. Whatever goal speaks to your soul is going to be a much more interesting goal or resolution than just following the masses.
Create an Explicit Juicy Goal. Without a clear vision that is based on your own ‘why’, most people just aren’t enthused about what they say they want. Make your goal clear, meaningful, and fun.
Realistic Expectations. This is one of the Super Secrets of life. If you begin with an unrealistic expectation such as, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds in a month,” it’s going to be very hard to make this happen. It’s not impossible, but it isn’t healthy and it probaly requires a level of commitment that may be overwhelming. If the goal is realistic, “I’m going to be dancing daily till I’m fit,” then you can develop that goal into something juicy.
Baby steps. Every goal has many steps along the way that chunk it down and make it more easily “do”able. Baby steps break down the ‘what to do’ or action aspects of a goal. These baby steps will guide you along the way and help to make the goal more manageable. Losing weight is a great goal, but you’ll need to break it down: Create a play list of music I like to dance to, Schedule it, eat more veggies, & cut the simple carbs.
Plan for Bumps along the Way. This is really a part of realistic expectations, but it deserves its own bump. Imagine you’re going on a trip. You’re heading from Seattle to Boston. You get on the plane and you’re off. The plane has a clear destination, Boston. The flight is not actually moving in a straight line, it’s a direction, and along the way the pilot is bringing the plane back on course with many little adjustments. Expect that you might get off course on your own journey. Know that you can bring yourself back on course as many times as it takes to get to your destination.
Celebrate Successes. Too often we set a goal and then we lose steam as we work and work and work. Set mini goals. I called them baby steps above and celebrate them regularly. I often make something I love to do into a prize at the end of the work. If I have paperwork to do, which is my least favorite thing, I might say to myself, if I get this paperwork done today, I will go out to a movie. I can create my own carrot.
It takes a Village. At about the four to six week mark, people become excuse machines. We throw up all sorts of rationalizations, reasons, justifications, smoke and mirrors to let ourselves off the proverbial hook. Having people who will support you through the rough spots is important and necessary to success. It could be a person or an online support group. When I quit smoking, it was much easier to hang out with nonsmoking friends. The more you surround yourself with people who support your goal the easier it will be for you to be successful.