Ahhhhh, it’s that time of the year where “New Year, New Me” echoes continuously and gyms and churches become the new hangout places. It’s something about January 1st that gives people the need for change. More than 50% of Americans make New Year Resolutions. However, studies show that only 8% of those people actually keep those resolutions. The hype usually dies down before January is even over. Not to worry, you don’t have to be apart of this 8%. I’ve researched the top 5 mistakes people make when making New Year Resolutions and including the best ways YOU can avoid them and actually reach your 2018 #goals.
Ready??? Let’s Do This!
#1 You Talk Too Much
People often announce their New Year Resolutions to family and friends. Whether it’s for moral support or a pat on the back, this isn’t the best idea. I’ve talked about this concept in one of my previous blogs, 6 Ways to Overcome Self Doubt and Unleash the Best You, but talking about your plans can result in negative results. Research studies have shown that when we tell someone about our goal and the person acknowledges it, we are less likely to do the work that is required to achieve the goal. This is because our brain mistakes the gratification that we receive from the acknowledgment as the feeling that the goal has already been accomplished. In other words, you get a psychological high! The satisfaction we feel in the moment takes away the motivation for doing whatever it actually takes to make the goal happen.
Solution: Instead of announcing your New Year Resolutions to everyone you know, write them down. Writing down your goals increases your chances of your reaching them. It helps you to become clear about what you want and creates accountability.
#2 You Go Into Resolution Overload
1. Lose weight Travel more
2. Read more books
3. Learn a new language
4. Get organized
5. Get out of Debt
6. Spend more time with family
8. Quit Smoking
9. Eat out less
10. Save Money
Does this list look familiar to you? I’m getting stressed just looking at it. It’s just a LOT to do. A lot of people create a long list of goals to accomplish. A year sounds like a long time but it really isn’t. As time scurries along, this long list inevitably leaves you feeling overwhelmed and scattered, and you eventually give up on all of it.
Solution: Instead of going into resolution overload, make a few goals (2-3) that you can focus on initially. As you accomplish each goal, add to them. I usually like to focus on 1 new goal each month. For example, if one of your goals is to lose weight, try to focus on just that in January. By the end of the month, you will have created a new habit (and hopefully results). Now introducing a new goal will be less overwhelming.
#3 You Think You Know It All
Most of the goals on New Year Resolutions are often transferred from year to year. I account it to this fact: “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. We often plan to achieve our goals by using the same method we always have. If you already knew how to do it, I’m 99.9% sure you would have already done it. I’m here to tell you that IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP!
Solution: Whether it’s hiring a coach/expert or taking the time to do extensive research on the best ways to get it done, invest in your goal. Don’t let this year be another year that comes and goes without you achieving the things you’ve dreamed of and living your best life. Make the commitment to your goals and adopt the ‘by any means necessary’ attitude.
#4 Your Goals are Imprecise
Have you ever asked someone what their goal was and they replied that it was “to be happy” or “make more money”? And did you think to yourself, “What does that even mean?”. Well, that’s a good question and I’m pretty sure that the person didn’t even know themselves. What does happy entail? What is the gauge? What needs to be done to achieve it? Every goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.
Solution: It’s imperative that you get clear on what you want to achieve. I love to use the SMART goal setting system to ensure my goals align with this criteria. It’s a 5 step process that will really help you to achieve this by asking the why, what, when, where, and how questions. I’ve created the perfect worksheet to help you easily work through this process. Feel free to download it here.
#5 You have No Realistic Plan
When you fail to plan, you can plan on failing. It doesn’t matter how pumped you are about the new year and its possibilities, no plan of action for your goal will get you nowhere fast. You have to let go of the idea that things will “just happen” for you and take responsibility for your life. If you didn’t know it, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT! Planning & action are the keys to your success.
Solution: Create an action plan for each of your goals. Your action plan should include the steps necessary to achieve your goals, a schedule or to do list, a tracking system or frequent milestones, and a contingency plan.
2018 can be the greatest year you’ve ever had. Imagine seeing your dreams become reality and finally living your best life. 2018 can also be just another year that goes by with you doing the same thing you’ve done year after year. The wonderful thing about both of these scenarios is that the choice is entirely up to you.
What are some of your goals for 2018? Please share below in the comment section. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my email list to read more helpful posts like this one. I want to help propel you forward on your journey to living a life more fulfilled.
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