3 Steps to Achieving Your New Year’s Resolution
It’s that time of year again; the time of renewal and letting go of the past. As we look to the year ahead, many of us set New Year’s resolutions vowing that this will be our best year yet. While we all begin with the best intentions, very few of us actually achieve what we set out to do.
If you really want to achieve your 2016 New Year’s resolutions, here are a few steps to help you get there.
Let go of your mistakes and celebrate your achievements from 2015.
Holy regret, Batman! It’s human nature to focus on what went wrong, what we don’t have, and what we could have done better. Fine. Now be done with it. Wallowing over what could have been never helped anyone to achieve their goals. Here’s what I want you to do.
Get a couple of sheets of paper. At the top of the first one, write down the word “2015 Regrets” and on the second one, write down “2015 Achievements.” Now spend some time listing out all of the things that you feel guilty about from the past year in terms of the goals you didn’t achieve. On the achievements page, write down everything, no matter how small, that you did achieve.
When you’re done—and I mean really done so you may want to sit on this for a couple of days—take the regret paper and vow that you are at peace with what happened and ready to let it go. Then, throw the paper away, shred it, toss it in a fireplace, or whatever brings you peace. Just make sure you get rid of it.
Next, I want you to take the achievement paper and hang it somewhere you will see each day. Why? Because I want you see a daily reminder that you are not a failure, you are a wild success. You will continue to achieve.
Make sure your resolution is something that you really want.
There’s a make or break factor in every single goal that you set: Do you really want it? For example, is your goal to quit smoking or lose weight? Awesome. Just make sure it’s something that you really do want.
How do you know if the goal is something you really want? It’s pretty simple. For starters, are you setting the goal for yourself or for someone else? In other words, it is because this is what you want or because this is what someone else wants for you. I can tell you that if you don’t really want it, you’re going to fail. Sorry. You are the person trying to reach the goal so you have to do the work.
You can also ask yourself the following questions: Are you willing to do what it takes to reach it? Are you willing to be that dedicated and stick with it even when you feel like giving up? If you’re nodding your head yes, great! Just remember that enthusiasm when things get challenging and you “don’t feel like doing it.”
One tool I like to use to help people reach their goal is defining their “why.” This is because when it gets tough, you have to use the vision of the end result to motivate you. For example, if you’re trying to save money to buy a house, but your friend invites you to a fancy dinner, you’re going to have to think of that house. What does that end result mean to you? Let’s say you want the house because it’s a place to call your own for you and your family forever. I’d say that’s more rewarding than a $100 dinner. Make sure your why is just that powerful.
Create mini goals.
The next step is to create bite-sized goals. Having an “all or nothing” or extremist attitude is a red flag waving you on to the giving up danger zone. Goals take time to achieve so you’re just going to have to suck it up and be patient. One way to stay motivated and feel like you’re achieving what you set out to do is to create mini goals.
If you’re trying to save money, your goal might be to put away a certain dollar amount every month. If you’re trying to quit smoking, your first goal might be going two weeks without a cigarette and then four weeks, etc.
The key is to break it down into achievable markers. Set yourself up for success.
Last but not least, be patient and loving with yourself. If you take a step back or make a mistake, that’s normal. Everyone falters. It’s choosing to get back up and move forward that makes the difference between those who succeed and those who fail.
If you’d like help creating and sticking to your goals this year, I’m offering a few free “Quick Start to Your Goals” coaching sessions. Just send me a message here to set it up.