New Year’s resolutions are kind of like that one member in our family that we know we shouldn’t take too seriously… but you just can’t help but laugh and play along with them when they come around once a year.
But let’s be HONEST here, how many of us actually succeed?
It’s become a common trend for people to make fun of New Year resolutions (they never work!) but few people actually understand WHY these resolutions don’t work. I’m here to explain a few common pitfalls people usually make when it comes to setting up their resolutions and 5 ways to solve it.
1) Too Big, Too broad
The reason why most people fall off their path is because it is TOO general. A goal should be something we can track, something measurable, yet at the same time, it has to be realistic.
When we have a goal like “I want to be healthier,” we set ourselves up for failure because we don’t know where to start.
Instead ask ourselves:
1) Is it SPECIFIC enough?
Ex: What does being healthy mean to me?
(Everyone has their own definition of being healthy: can be having a 6-pack or being able to run 5km)
2) Is it MEASURABLE?
You want to lose weight? How much? You need to be able to track it.
3) Is It REALISTIC?
Once you have it, start planning what you need to do to get there. Again, don’t make a huge list, keep it nice and simple.
BE specific. BE detailed. BE realistic
2) Stick to One Thing
“To do two things at once is to do neither” – Pubilius Syrus
Trying to accomplish multiple goals at once will quickly get overwhelming and only lead to failure. When we set our New Year’s resolution, we need to limit it down to ONE thing, not 5 different others.
Stick with it, achieve it, then move onto the next.
You need to break it down and ask yourself:
1) What is the one thing you want to achieve above all else? (Focus on one that will benefit you in the most significant ways)
2) Make it a PRIORITY! (That means you make it the most important thing and you dedicate your time towards it)
Once we know, it becomes crystal clear what you need to do to get there.
3) Find Your “Why”
For anything you want to accomplish, you must ask yourself a simple question: WHY?
Don’t just choose that particular goal because everyone else is doing it.
(Does it hold any value to you? What does it mean to you? Who or what are you doing it for?)
Is it for yourself? Is it for you loved ones? It is for an event?
(The more meaning it has behind it, the more likely you will push to get there. Again, don’t choose something you know you cannot commit to)
What is most important thing to you?
What is the thing you’ve always wanted to do but always held back? WHY not this year?
BE brave, Stand out, Do YOU
4) It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
The biggest problem here is once we know what we want, we want it ALL and we want it FAST. Slow and steady might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Here is what you need to realize, many of us are where we are due to bad habits that have accumulated over the years. If it took many years to get to where you are NOW to the point of making a change, the last thing you want to do is remode
You already know what you want. Break it down into several steps. You want to lose weight?
1st : Start easy like drinking more water the first week, and doing an exercise regime 2x a week.
2nd : Your next step is getting more sleep, as well as eating a healthier breakfast, or eat out less.
3rd : Finally, increase your exercise to 3x a week and having 3 balanced meals a day.
This is ONE of the biggest thing that most people forget. Take steps to make yourself accountable for your goals to stay motivated.
One way is you can get yourself to commit to something beforehand, that way you won’t delay it and you KNOW you have to work towards it.
For example: if you aim to run a 21km, sign up for one and pay for it in advance.
Similarly, if you wish to start exercising, find a reputable coach who can stay on top of you as well as put you on the proper program.
You can also make a log, or journal. Record down what you have accomplish or achieved so far. List it out one by one so you know. (Seeing it visually on paper is always helpful and it stays as a reminder of how far you’ve come already. And every week, you want to try and inch a little bit closer to your goal)
Lastly, find a STRONG support system. Find a buddy with a similar goal as you, do it together. Share your progress, whether its with your family or close friends. Discussing your progress can help you stay on track. Write it. Track it. Share it.
Putting It All Together
New year’s resolutions: something everyone has, but only few can do. I would say most fail before they get started. The simplest way to avoid that is we need to ask ourselves a couple things before we start:
– Is it too general?
– Is it too broad?
– Is it realistic?
– Are we trying to accomplish too much?
– Are we trying to do TOO much, TOO fast?
– Are we being held accountable?
These are several key factors that will determine whether or not your New Year’s resolution will succeed. Of course, there are many, many variables but when it comes down to it, are you able to commit? If you want to see changes, you will have to put in the extra effort.
If it is something you really want, you will do whatever it takes to get there. Remember, start small first. be honest with yourself and don’t set too big of a goal. Find your “WHY.” Set a timeline. Track your progress. Have a support system.
Small steps go a long way.