That’s right…no resolution.
Every year, millions of people scramble to come up with their best, most productive New Year’s resolutions. They strive to complete something they believe will help them achieve the most good and change their lives forever.
…except it doesn’t always work that way.
By the time January comes to an end, many of us have already thrown in the towel. In fact, only 23% of us will actually see the resolution through to the end.
That’s less than one in four.
Why do these goals fail?
It seems that all of the pressure you put on yourself to stay committed to this one thing almost forces you to do the exact opposite of what you set out to do.
Is it because they were set up last minute, just to come up with some kind of resolution before the New Year hit? Are you just copying someone else’s goal because you aren’t sure what you want to strive for? Is it because the goal is something so large, that you are making it almost impossible to succeed?
Losing 50 pounds by June, never drinking another carbonated beverage again, or going to the gym every single day are pretty insurmountable goals – even for nutritionists and personal trainers. Ambition is great when you are actually setting out to do something that is within reach – it’s when you set out to do too much at once that is the problem.
You want to reach outside of your comfort zone, but not so far that you’re reaching to get to the stars by next month.
Starting the same day every year is great, but starting today is better.
Today seems as good as any to start improving your life, doesn’t it? Who says January 1st is the only time of the year when you can strive to be better? Improving yourself is an ongoing process that doesn’t need to be planned during one time of the year.
If you complete your 2015 goal by July, it doesn’t mean you have to wait until 2016 to start another one. How awesome would you be if you completed two “resolutions” this year instead of just one? Just some food for thought…
This year, I’m challenging you to set up a “non-resolution” goal, something that you can actually achieve. Come up with something you really want to do and break it up into small steps that you can check off as you complete them.
Want to save $3,000 to start a Roth IRA?
Try to save $500 in 90 days. Have a yard sale. Set up an automatic transfer to have $30 from each paycheck go into your savings account. Work an extra hour each week if you can. Anything that will get you closer to that goal is a step in the right direction.
Want to cut back on chocolate for 6 months?
Try limiting yourself to eating it once a week. Once you accomplish that goal and see that it’s doable, strive to eat it only three times a month. Eventually you will scale back enough to reach your final goal, and it will have been much easier than quitting it all at once.
Once you start moving towards your goal, you may find new ways you never thought of as a means to achieving it. You might come across something to replace it with in your diet, or find a new way of coming up with small amounts of money to put towards your goal.
Make smaller steps to reach within the overarching goal
You know that whole saying about how to eat an elephant? Well, it’s true.
Breaking the target into pieces will allow you to see the progress you’re making. You can check off little tasks as you go and this will help keep the motivation alive. It’s the reason some people love the snowball method of paying off debt, because it allows them to more easily see the progress and know what it feels like to complete a small chunk of it.
Allow yourself to win!
Be yourself and figure out what you want in life, and create a goal to go along with it. Push your limits, but don’t make yourself miserable. You can do anything you set your mind to, as long as it is broken up into smaller goals to keep you motivated.
Let us know what you’re planning to accomplish this year in the comments.