Yup, you heard that right and I’ll say it again…New Year’s Resolutions are for LOSERS!
Some statistics will tell you that 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Why? There are tons of reasons, but mainly there are three linked together:
- Most New Year’s resolutions are written poorly or incorrectly,
- Therefore, they are difficult to accomplish,
- And, as a result, they are quickly forgotten.
You don’t need a New Year’s Resolution (NYR) and you don’t need a list of S.M.A.R.T. GOALS (same thing, but more advanced and business-like-sounding). What you need is a simple and specific TASK LIST in your calendar.
When most people write a NYR list, it looks similar to the picture included here. What does ‘Lose Weight’ really mean and how do you know when you have reached that goal? In addition, how do you know how to reach that goal? The next item, exercise, may be a way to lose weight, but again, what does that mean?
A S.M.A.R.T. Goals list would break each item down and create some form of measurement, but this system is still missing very important action elements. If you want more information about SMART Goals, you will find tons of it on the web.
Let’s keep this so simple that you can actually win at the NYR game and not be the 92% of failures out there. Oh, sorry that may have been a bit harsh, but really…aren’t you tired of failing at your goals?
Follow this process to success…
- CREATE YOUR GENERAL GOAL – Let’s use ‘lose weight’ as an example because it’s easy and just about everyone puts that on the top of their list.
- BE SPECIFIC – How much weight do you want to lose? Maybe consult with a professional to discover what is appropriate for your body.
- A GOAL WITHOUT A DEADLINE IS USELESS – By when will you lose this weight and is that a realistic goal?
- ACTION STEPS – What will it take to make that happen? Exercise more, eat less, party less, etc. Make sure these are actions you are truly capable of taking on and, by that, are they lifestyle decisions? The actions you take to achieve your goals should be decisions you can maintain for life, not just this month/year. If they are short-term, you may reach your goal this year, but you will bounce back and be setting the same goal again next New Year. Create action steps that are lifelong lifestyle changes.
- BREAK IT DOWN – Put action steps with small goal dates in your calendar. By the end of the week/month I will have reached ???? goal by achieving these steps. Let’s be real about these small goals. It is better to keep it easy at first than to start too hard and feel like a failure.
- SCHEDULE IT IN PEN – Create a task list with the steps in part 5 and carve out time in your calendar that is sacred. For instance, my calendar has 530-630am every Monday through Friday as workout time in my home gym. I’m a morning person, so that works well for me. The new smart fitness watches can remind you every hour to drink more water, get up and stretch, etc. Whatever method you use, stick to it like glue.
- THE MOST CRITICAL STEP – Get an accountability partner. Your AP is some who will either workout with you, share your goals and workout independently, compete with you, or at least stay in touch on a regular basis to hold you accountable to your goals. This should be a person who will not accept excuses from you. Your AP could be a best friend, family member, or business associate. These are all good, but the absolute best AP is either a professional coach, personal trainer, or a competitor in sports or business.
- PROGRESS UPDATES – It is important to review your progress at regular intervals to make sure your goals are still realistic and to adjust your task list, when necessary. Work with your AP to coach you through the ups and downs that are inevitable. Maybe going to the gym 7 days a week was a bit too much? Maybe cutting down to 500 calories a day wasn’t healthy? Maybe losing 10 pounds a week was OK for week 1, but what do you do in week 2 when you plateau? Most people fail at this stage because they think they have failed, when really the goals need to be adjusted for the realities of life.
- DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP – Everyone misses a workout sometime, misses the goal deadline by a day, or gives in to hedonistic desires and eats the forbidden fruit. It’s OK, once in awhile. For those occasional lapses in sanity, tomorrow is a new beginning. Get back on the horse and ride. But, when one day turn into two then three, you have given up on your goals. Time to decide, will you get back on track, or forgive and move on. Beating yourself up for giving up only creates stress and is a useless waste of time. You can learn to live with the extra 20 pounds or you can do something to change it. Wallowing in self-pity is for losers and the stress will cause you far more health challenges than the extra weight.
- REWARD YOURSELF FOR EACH GOAL REACHED – It is critical for you and your AP to celebrate all your achievements and do it as often as possible. We live in a ‘short-term memory’ age. Don’t wait until the end of the month to celebrate progress. Congratulate yourself daily and send a text to your AP about your progress. If you ran a few more minutes on the treadmill today than you did yesterday, post it to the world and be proud of that.
- MAKE IT A FUN PROCESS – Many people look at a NYR list as a chore when it should be a challenge. Challenges are fun, chores are not. Change your mindset and make each item on the list something fun with daily reminders of the rewards awaiting you. If anything is truly the backbone of success in reaching goals, it’s having the proper mindset throughout the process.
If you would like some assistance in creating your personal or business Task List for this year, instead of a failing resolution list, call me. I’m offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching consultation for the month of January. No sales pitch. Just some time on the phone to point you in the right direction. 603-767-6500 anytime Monday through Friday from 9-5 ET.