Think back to December 31, 2013. Remember what it was like? You thought about all of your accomplishments and the great feelings that came with knowing that you reached success. Then you thought about some of the things that weren’t accomplished and you were filled with a renewed sense of commitment and the promise to get off to a fresh start in the New Year.
According to research by the University of Scranton, the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2014:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
Here we are past the mid mark of that New Year. We are in mid- July and half of the year is already gone. Where are you with those 2014 resolutions?
Statistics show that 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8% are successful in achieving them. Why is that? It’s because goals without a plan are like building a house without a set of blueprints. In order to achieve your goals you need a set of plans. It’s not enough to say that you’re going to get more exercise. You need to know what type of exercise (yoga, spinning or weights), how many times per week (3, 4 or 5) and the duration of each event (20 minutes, 1 hour). Then you need to schedule those activities. That seems simple enough yet only a few achieve their goals.
Resolutions are like pets. They’re fun to have until it’s time to walk the dog in the rain. How committed are you to your goals? Have you been willing to push through the discomfort and stick with your plans? As research shows, 92% of people are not committed to their goals. Some reasons for this overwhelming failure rate are: vague goals, too many goals, negatively framed goals and lack of support.
Here’s the good news:
You don’t have to wait until December 31st to follow through on your goals. If you have forgotten about your goals or abandoned them altogether ask yourself if that resolution is something that you truly wanted. Be very clear on what you want and why you want it.
Once you align yourself with what you truly want design a plan that will work for you.
- Be realistic about your expectations. Can you really commit to exercising 5 days per week for 1 hour per day? Are 3 days and 30 minutes more realistic?
- Consider alternatives such as non traditional ways of exercising. Sign up for that dance class you’ve always meant to take or go paintballing. If you’re trying to lose weight, consider a meal delivery plan instead of trying to cook all of the healthy meals yourself.
- Write out your goals and mark them on your agenda. Goals that are spelled out are more likely to be committed to because they are there as a constant reminder. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder or even put post-it notes in conspicuous places to keep you on track.
- Enlist the help of a friend. Accountability is one of the key measures of success. Ask a friend to hold you accountable and report your progress. Or better yet, find a friend that has the same resolution, plan your activities and stick to your goals together.
Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail. It takes at least 21 days to break a habit then another 21 days of Mindful attention to re-train the brain. Some research shows that it’s 30 days instead of 21. In either case in order to achieve results you need consistency and focus. You wouldn’t build that house without those blueprints.
If you’ve tried the things discussed in this article already yet find that you are still struggling with your resolutions consider hiring a coach. There are many resources available from nutrition coaches, financial planners, life and business coaches or personal trainers. Coaches are there to support you and celebrate your victories. Remember: You deserve to reach your goals!
Please share your experiences with goals and how you’ve reached them. I’d love to hear your stories below.