The holidays have ended. The new year is around the corner. It's only proper to start thinking about those resolutions, right? For most people, this is generally a time of year when there is reflection about how the year has gone, and what you're looking forward to in the coming year. It's always a good time to evaluate what kind of year we've had and how we want to be better in the coming year. I've never been big on resolutions. They seem like a failure in the making. So I've decided to change up the game. I need a mindset shift. I need something bigger than me to keep me laser-focused and goal-oriented! That's when I came up with a theme, or a mantra for my year instead of a resolution.
We all have a role in everything that happens to us. Every event, every opportunity, every situation. It's so common for people to take the victim mindset. Even in the slightest bit, you can find yourself saying "but I", or "if they" to anything that seemed like a failure or you've been questioned about not succeeding.
Tony Robbins, a motivator, speaker & author says “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions. The only problem we really have is we think we’re not supposed to have problems! Problems call us to higher level- – face & solve them now!”
Why Ditch Resolutions?
The word resolution has "solution" in it. It's defined as "a firm decision to do or not to do something." Seems passive. In doing some research, it's actually proven that most resolutions fail. On average, according to the Huffington Post, only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year's resolutions.
According to the data pulled from Google by iQuanti, these are the most popular New Year’s resolutions:
Get Healthy: 62,776,640 searches, a 13.77 percent increase over last year during the same time period, when it was searched 55,177,290 times.
Get Organized: 33,230,420 searches, dipping by 7.41 percent compared to last year’s tally of 35,888,700.
Live Life to the Fullest: 18,970,210, spiking by 13.04 percent from last year, when it maxed at 16,782,030.
Learn New Hobbies: 17,438,670 searches, up 4.72 percent from last year’s total searches of 16,652,950.
Spend Less/Save More: 15,905,290 searches, up 17.47 percent from 13,539,500 in 2016.
Travel: 5,964,130 searches, down by 0.82 percent from 2015’s 6,013,550,
Read More: 4,746,560 searches, down 5.63 percent from last year’s 5,029,790.
Create a vision or goal for what you want to achieve and think about these ideas as you work towards them.
1) It's a Marathon. Not A Sprint.
You don't wake up one day and run a marathon so why would you attack a lofty goal that you can't achieve in a reasonable time. You have to get a plan together and look at it as a process. Most people look at a resolution subconsciously as a quick fix or an easy feat. In reality, it's exactly the opposite.
With any goal you set for yourself, identify milestones and markers for progress and success. It will improve your psychological satisfaction with your progress and keep you motivated to continue working.
2) Walk Before You Run
Most people try to "change" by eliminating a habit. But what if you changed it from a negative to a positive? What if you added healthy habits instead of focusing on everything you CAN'T do. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. Most resolutions have to do with changing habits and the reason they often fail is because you haven't identified your triggers or found a replacement for that need the bad habit was satisfying. Most have heard it takes 28 days to really change a habit. But current research shows that most of us need about three months to substitute a new behavior for a bad habit. Be consistent. Cut yourself some slack and keep working towards progress. Remember, progress is anything ahead of where you were.
3) You can't get off the finish line
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Our minds can debilitate any progress or success we can have in our lives simply by not allowing us to take action. We see the "big elephant we need to eat" and can't even imagine where to start and are immediately overwhelmed and give up before we start. There is no doubt that you could eat the whole elephant. But the key is to take the bites early and often. You don't need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step. You don't need all the answers to start. You will learn and grow along the way, but you have to start.
4) Make SMART Goals
The term "SMART Goals" has been around for a while. Simply put, they are necessary requirements to help you achieve success. Maybe your goal is to "lose weight". A pretty common one. Maybe it's specific like lose 50 pounds, but if you are a 150 pound woman, that's probably not attainable (or healthy). Setting a smart goal helps you identify very concrete and specific steps. If we continue on with the weight example, it would look something like this. My goal is to lose 25 pounds, (specific & measurable) within 4 months (time based) through diet and exercise.
It's attainable at a rate of less than 2 pounds per week and has some relevance in the manner in which you will achieve it.
5) Change from a resolution mindset to a mantra mindset
In many ways, a New Year’s Resolution is a kind of mantra. But, like mantras, resolutions must be practiced daily if you’re serious about them becoming your way of living. Which is why, my mantra for the year is...NO EXCUSES.
We often give a "viable excuse". Like it's acceptable in our mind as something reasonable and understandable so its more easily accepted. The only real acceptable answer is to learn complete accountability for everything you do AND everything you don't do. When you accept that kind of accountability, AND you are willing to to fix your mind on no excuses, you can create a powerful internal dynamic. You become internally motivated instead of motivated by circumstances. You will hold yourself to higher standards and be able to accomplish more simply as a result of removing the barrier to limited expectations.
2018 can be a great year for you if YOU decide it will be a great year and take the action needed to accomplish your goals!