The end of the year causes us to reflect, analyze and theorize on how we want to grow and evolve in the coming year. This is a tradition dating all the way back to the Babylonians who made promises to their gods at the start of each year. Even the knights of the medieval era took the ‘peacock vow’ at the end of each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.
The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually. In current Western Civilization, we strategize a new year as we’re counting down to January 1st. With the strike of midnight we vow a new resolution as we pass through another invisible wall of time.
According to the US News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80%. New Year’s Resolutions have been around since the beginning of time – no pun intended. How can such a distinguished tradition remain so challenging to achieve?
The Biggest Reasons why Grand Goals Quickly Fizzle Out
If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail – Benjamin Franklin said it best! Proper planning is fundamental for success. We sometimes get so excited about the opportunity to change that we neglect to prepare for it.
Oftentimes it’s easier for us to envision what we want, but we get trapped at the simple steps it takes to get to it. Envisioning yourself achieving your grand goal is as important as understanding the clearly defined steps to achieving it.
Life Changes So Goals Change – When was the last time the beginning of your year looked exactly like the end of it? I’ll pause while you think about it…. UM… NEVER!
That’s the beauty of life, we are constantly evolving, changing, growing and yes sometimes even falling. It is not possible to set ONE goal for your January 1st self that will also apply to your December 31st self 364 days later. Your goals have to be as fluid as your life and YOU have to allow yourself to change those goals as needed.
Our Current Beliefs Don’t Support Our New Habits – I remember a couple years ago, my New Years Resolution was to Be More Energetic. I did everything smart resolutioners do. I strategized weeks in advance on how I could become more energetic in the New Year.
After hours of research, I put together a list of habits to change, healthy foods to eat and workouts to try. January 1st, I was off and running implementing all of my NEWNESS. Four weeks in, I was doing everything ‘right’, but I actually started feeling more exhausted.
It wasn’t until 6 months in I realized that I was telling myself every minute of every day that ‘I am exhausted’. No wonder I didn’t feel energized – my belief didn’t support how I wanted to feel. I had to first fix the belief in order to achieve the goal!
Zero Accountability – I’ve had resolutions that I didn’t want to share with anyone out of fear of judgment. There’s also been years that I simply thought ‘I’m all I’ve got’. Whatever the excuse might be for NOT sharing your goals, find a way to overcome it, even if that means finding ONE PERSON that will hold you accountable to it.
I believe the reason why we have so many more employees than entrepreneurs in this world is because every employee has a ‘boss’, i.e. someone to hold them accountable. When you don’t show up or do the work, it has consequences in most cases.
As much as some of us don’t want to admit it, the reason we keep our jobs is because of the accountability that comes with it. Would you go to work if you knew you wouldn’t get paid? You need that same stringent accountability to put as much focus on your life goals as you do your day-to-day work.
We End Up Being NOT as Resolute as We Thought We Were – Resolution means the quality of being determined or resolute. I’ve asked myself a couple of times – ‘If I wasn’t determined to achieve my New Year’s Resolution last year, what makes me any different to achieve it this year?’
Sometimes we get into the habit of stacking up our goals year after year that we neglect the person who should be striving to achieve them. She’s over there on the comfy couch, watching Netflix. LOL! I can’t stress this one enough – YOU have to be resolute in order to achieve resolutions!
We Start too Big – Unhealthy behaviors develop over time – sometimes years. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones REQUIRES TIME.
Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time. Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end.
The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Reverse engineer that grand goal and find something that you can do every day to work towards it.
Our mentors and I can help you to set positive New Years resolutions and cultivate the assurance and self-love you need. Check out our FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY to download more goal-setting tools!
I’m a true believer that it shouldn’t take a new year to become a new you. In the end – pun intended – we all just strive to be better today than we were yesterday and sometimes the turning of a year helps us realize how precious time can be.
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, we just have to remember that every step we take in our journey, we get to decide how we choose to show up for it this year and in the next. Happy New Year!