Are you ready with your New Year’s Resolutions? For those who don’t know what New Year’s resolution is, it’s a tradition in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement beginning from New Year’s Day. New Year is around the corner and we all have started doing our New Rear’s resolutions list, but will we really achieve our goals? It’s easier said than done. According to a research by the University of Scranton only 8% of the people are successful in achieving their new years resolutions.
It’s pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and it’s first chapter is New Year’s day. – Edith Pierce
Just 8 % achieve their goals.. Why 92% of the people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions?
Reason 1. No plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” And wishes don’t always come true. Simply stated failing to plan is planning to fail.
“The best resolutions are those that actually include a plan of action,” says Michael Ellner. Applebaum says people set themselves up for failure because they commit to a resolution, fully knowing they have no plan in place to actually achieve it.
“You need to create a plan that will help you achieve your goals,” say Karena and Katrina, founders of ToneItUp.com. “Break your end goal down into smaller, weekly goals so you feel like you’re working towards something immediate, and make a calendar with something to do every day that will get you closer to your desired result,” they say..
Reason 2. Doing it Alone
It doesn’t matter if it’s quitting smoking or losing weight, or going to the gym more often, you shouldn’t do it alone. Find a buddy. As success coach Amy Applebaum says: “If you are someone who has a higher success rate when you have outside support, then get a buddy. This creates accountability, which is essential for success.”
“Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be more, do more, and have more,” advises The Mojo Coach Debi Silber. Be sure to find a buddy that will be a positive force in your life, not a negative one. Avoid people who drain you emotionally and mentally aka “energy vampires”, even if they are good friends or family Remember, your buddy should be a positive force in your life, not a negative one.
If your goal is to solve world peace or become a billionaire, maybe you should switch to a more attainable goal like finally, start your own business. Applebaum says “Most of us create resolutions that are too big and therefore we can’t meet them. Think if your resolutions are attainable and if they are not divide them into smaller goals.
Reason 4. Overlooking progress, and dwelling on setbacks.
The “law of effect” is the most fundamental law in psychology. It’s simple: actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur.
It seems obvious, but most people do just the opposite. Study after study has shown people who try — and fail — to make life changes self-reward too little, and self-punish too much.
Resolutions-makers (and d’ieters) do this all the time. After two weeks of healthy eating and exercise, for example, they have an ice cream cone. But instead of rewarding themselves for two weeks of solid progress, they beat themselves up over their minor setback. Set up small rewards for your daily and weekly achievements, this way you will feel grateful and happier and it will be more likely that you will stick to your goals.
Reason 5. Giving up too easy
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Edison
Do you have the right mental attitude? Think carefully before setting your goals for 2015, because if they are not important to you or if that’s not what you really want, there is a big chance that you will fail.
Remember that achieving a goal is not easy, especially if it’s a big one like losing weight, starting your own business or smiling more (the last might sound simple but it’s one of the hardest.)
You can always take the easy way out & give up but that won’t get you far in life and won’t help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions. There are many reasons why people don’t meet their resolutions, but this one by far is the biggest reason.
Reason 6. Expecting fast results
Everything is a process, growth and improvement takes time. Don’t expect fast results, if you want good results. Yet most people think they can lose weight magically in 1 month and when they don’t see fast results, they decide it’s not worth it and they simply quit. Realise that it requires time to see results, big changes don’t happen in a day, it takes time.
Since a variety of research around the self-determination theory states that creating intrinsic motivators (being motivated to do things internally, not through punishments or rewards) is an essential process of setting goals that stick, you need to find a way to balance this need to dream big with your day to day activities, which often do not result in quick, dramatic changes, but eventually will over time.
The best way to do this is to set what I call “macro goals” and “micro quotas.”
- Goals should be the big picture items that you wish to someday accomplish.
- Your quotas on the other hand are the minimum amounts of work that you must get done every single day to make it a reality.
Reason 7. Not enough action.
All of the “small” reasons for not keeping resolutions add up to one big reason: not enough action.
Most people know what to do in order to keep their resolution, they have the blueprint for success. But they don’t take sufficient action.
There’s no great secret to weight loss success – just burn off more calories than you take in. Eat more vegetables, watch your portion sizes, and exercise more (studies have shown that weight loss maintainers average one hour of exercise per day!). It’s not hard to figure out. It’s just hard to do it, and maintain these lifestyle changes over the long-term. Most people start out OK, but don’t take sufficient action to make cement their new habits, and make their life changes permanent.
7 Ways to be part of those 8 % that achieve their New Year’s Resolutions
1. Focus on one or two resolutions not more
One of the first mistakes people make is planning too many resolutions. The fewer things we have to deal with, the better, and you’ll be able to focus all your motivation on one resolution, increasing the chances you’ll succeed. A research shows that people who are making a lot of resolutions, quit faster and achieve nothing in the end. So focus on just one, maximum two resolutions, if you plan on keeping them, otherwise it’s pretty sure that you will fail.
2. Set Ultra-Specific Goals
New Year’s resolutions are often big and general, making them hard to attain. Try to be more specific, the more specific you are, the easier it will be to reach that goal. “Get in shape” or “lose weight” are both bad resolutions. Be specific – how much weight do you want to lose? “Lose 15 pounds by April” is a good one. Setting multiple specific goals throughout the year is good, too. That way, you always have something attainable to focus on that doesn’t seem far off.
3. Remind Yourself of Your Goals Every Day
If you’re having trouble keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind, you can use one of any number of tricks to constantly remind yourself (besides tracking your progress). Set an alarm on your phone with a message of why you’re doing this, make your screensaver a reminder, record yourself on a webcam every day, or use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror, or put sticky notes somewhere where you will see them daily. This way you will stay more focused and feel the urge that you need to achieve your goals. There a lot of tricks you can use to do that, so find the one that you are most comfortable with and go with it.
4. Get others involved. Make it public
Having friends and family on board is such a huge motivator. Research has shown that people who have support are the most successful at diet and exercise programs. Plus, when you make a commitment to improve your lifestyle along with someone else — a close friend, your significant other, a child — you’re more likely to stick with it. The upside to this, you will feel the need to achieve your goals, because you announced it to the public. The downside: It potentially increases embarrassment if they fail. So, it depends on how open you want to be about your resolutions, but If being under pressure helps you, I would suggest you to make your New Year’s Resolutions public.
5. Lift Your Spirits
Watching a funny movie, or listening to your favourite song, could be a great mood changer or listening to a speech you like, will greatly help you when your willpower goes down. And don’t worry that will happen often. So find something that has always lifted up your spirits, maybe watching an old video, or think about that great summer you had back in 2010. Find what works and use it whenever you need a boost.
6. Create a visual representation of your goals.
Most of our goals are just numerical. “Lose 15 pounds” is a fine example. The problem with this is that numbers are difficult to forge an emotional connection with. In addition to writing down your goals, you can use other visual reminders to help keep them fresh in your mind. Animating your goals by creating an image or a vision board will greatly help you to create an emotional bond to them. For example if you want to buy a new car for 2015, go and google that car and then print it and put it somewhere where you will see it daily, for example your wardrobe. This way your vision, will be always in front of your eyes.
6. Split your goal into smaller weekly goals.
Goals can be given a set of urgency by breaking them down into six month, three month, monthly and daily goals to keep you on track. To lose 30 pounds for 6 months doesn’t create the same sense of urgency as losing 3 pounds this week. This way you won’t procrastinate, because a 6 month period is a long time, and your mind can trick you into thinking there is enough time, and in the end you will end up doing nothing.
7. Ask for help
Why is this so hard? But every time I ask for help, I’m amazed at how much easier my task becomes. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, we can’t do everything on our own. If your goal is to lose weight, but you don’t know how, simply ask others that know more about it or people that have actually succeeded in losing weight. If your goal is to increase your sales, ask people that have done it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you can’t do everything by yourself. Websites like Quora might greatly help you when you need help to deal with your problems, also it’s a great place to socialise with people, that have the same interests as you.
If you still don’t know what your goals for 2015 should be here are some ideas. The poll conducted by LA Fitness asked 2,000 people what their aims are.
40 Common New Year’s Resolutions
2. Save more money
3. Lose weight
5. Take better photos
6. Go travelling
7. Sell old unwanted stuff on eBay
8. Buy a tablet
9. Organise photos
10. Do something for charity
11. Spend more time with kids
12. Buy a Sunday paper
13. Less TV time
14. Connect my computer to my TV
15. Leave work on time more often
16. Less time on Facebook
17. Totally revamp my wardrobe
18. Try a new hairstyle
19. Get a six-pack
20. Eat less chocolate
21. Socialise more in real life rather than Facebook
22. Drink less alcohol
23. Buy less coffee from Starbucks/big chains
24. Start my own business
25. Tell someone I have feelings for them
26. Quit smoking
27. Gain a promotion
28. Learn how to use Twitter
29. Run a half or full marathon
30. Call people more than text
31. Cut someone out of my life who isn’t good for me
32. Meet online contacts in real life
33. Watch less reality TV
34. Text people less
35. Try to save relationship
36. Try extreme sports
37. Get better at social networking
38. Stop contacting/going back to an ex-partner
39. Have a face-to-face with my boss to find out where I stand
40. Do a bungee jump
My Own 2015 Resolutions
You know, I was going to end the post on the previous note. But based on what I’ve learned from the experts—and in hopes of informing you and selfishly motivating me—here’s my own list of goals for the New Year:
- Open up an online store deeply connected with what we do here at motivationgrid.com (clothing, posters, cards, etc.)
- Write more on this blog, at least 4 posts per week and read at least 1 business related book a week.
So here are mine. Please share your New Year’s Resolutions in the comments below, this way we can help each other achieve them and we can track our progress.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season. Here’s hoping that 2015 will be a joyful one for the world, and a year where all of us get one step closer to the people that we want to be.
Sources that helped me write this article:
Photo credit: baron valium