Well, it’s that time of year again! New Year’s has been a time for new beginnings and fresh starts to goals for the pst few centuries and although many people have seen great success with their resolutions, the majority of us struggle to follow through to success.
With that being said, I felt that some guidance for following through with your goals as best you can would be helpful at this time of year. Here area 8 tips for following through with your New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Tell 5 people whom you respect dearly that you are going to do it
The idea behind this strategy is to really put yourself out there and put a little pressure on yourself. If you share with 5 people whom you respect dearly that you are going to stick with your resolution, you will be more like to follow through because you won’t want to let them down.
This could be your spouse, your boss, your best friend, a coach, or any others that you would be very uncomfortable sharing that did not follow through with your resolution goals. The thought of this discomfort will often times be enough to push you through the hard work your goals come with.
2. Make sure you believe you can do it
If you do not truly believe you can follow through with your resolution, don’t set the goal. The most important person in your life is you. You are the only one who truly knows if you can do it. So if you reflect on your past and how you have grown, and you truly can’t see you following through, then you won’t.
See yourself following through and completing your resolution through the year before you even start. Feel what it would be like and bask in that feeling. If you cannot fathom that feeling, and you’re really just dreaming, a resolution will only waste your time and cause you to lose more confidence in yourself.
Pick one that you believe is possible for your achieve.
3. Don’t burn yourself out too quickly
Don’t go balls to the wall for the first 2 weeks. We all know how that goes. We get all excited about our new workout regiment or career goals, and we spend all our time thinking about them and taking action in the very beginning. And then…we stop. We get bored and we get too busy to fit that into our schedule.
Instead, try slowly incorporating the goal into your life. Let yourself slowly get better and more disciplined and a hunger to achieve that goal will grow stronger and stronger each day.
4. Get a plan on paper
Don’t just say you are going to do something and then hope you do it. Set up a plan for actually incorporating your resolution into your life. Figure out when your schedule will allow you to spend time on it, and how often you will need to do it to get the success you want. Then write down that plan and revise as needed.
5. Make sure you truly want the outcome strongly
If you do not actually have a burning desire to have what it is your resolution is helping you work towards, you will quickly get burned out. Two weeks in you will find yourself asking yourself why you are spending all these hours on this goal when you could be partying or going out or being lazy watching TV. “It’s not worth it”, you’ll tell yourself.
And most things truly aren’t worth it. You need to pick something that you feel truly is worth it. Do you want those six-pack abs bad enough? Or would you rather put your energy towards building your business up? Everybody has their thing(s), find yours.
6. Ask someone to hold you accountable
In addition to telling 5 people whom you respect about your upcoming lifestyle change and goal, ask someone close to you to hold you accountable and ask you about your resolution frequently. We all fall off track sometimes, so it’s important to have a person there to remind you why you originally set your resolution and give you that push when you can’t give your self that push.
A spouse, best friend or parent are often good people for this role.
7. Give yourself a penalty for falling behind or dropping off
Figure out some sort of penalty that will be forced upon yourself if you do not follow through with your resolution. Ideally, it’s something that you can’t control; it’s a penalty that you will have to endure whether you like it or not.
For instance, try paying for 6 months of your gym membership in advance. That way, when you want to quit 3 weeks in, you’ll look at that 6 month upfront payment and hate yourself for wasting all that money. But hopefully that monetary investment is enough to give you your push to keep going to the gym, because you paid for it, so you feel the obligation to use up that money.
8. Don’t make one
The only other option for you to give yourself, is to flat out not make a resolution. I’ll share with you an alternative that I started incorporating in my life start at the beginning of 2014…
It’s called the “One Word Challenge” and it’s from Jon Gordon’s book One Word That Will Change Your Life.
Jon and his coauthors suggest that instead of focusing on a particular action for the whole year, pick a single word and do everything you can to make that your word of the year. Actions and goal schedules can be hard to follow through with for an entire year, but words are easy. You simply post that word in several areas of your house or office and remind yourself to do your best to live by that word the entire year and improve on it whenever you can.
For instance, my word for 2015 is “Prosper”. I want this to be a prosperous year for myself, mainly in terms of money, but also in other areas of life. I want to feel prosperous and not have to worry about lack of money or material items anymore. So having that word in the back of my mind will consistently remind myself to think prosperous thoughts and continuously educate myself on the concept of becoming prosperous as a person.
For more info on Jon Gordon’s short book, One Word That Will Change Your Life, see it here. (Note: Attitudes 4 Innovation and it’s partners will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link below)