New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. — Mark Twain
No one keeps New Year’s Resolutions, so what’s the point, right? Actually, some people DO keep their resolutions. Research shows a HUGE rate of success!
Ok, not huge…
What?! Why bother? Hey, why can’t you be part of the 8%? What if there are ways to greatly increase the chance that you are in the 8%? What if it could put you on a path to Your Best Life?
Another year is going to go by whether you change your life or not. One year from now will you look back at how much better it is, or will you be exactly where you are right now?
One great way not to break your New Year’s resolutions is not to set any!
Let’s call them goals and really do them right this year.
Here’s what works:
1) Believe you can:
This may sound silly, but common sense and research shows if you don’t believe you can be one of the 8% you won’t be. Hey, someone has to be – why not you?
2) Convince yourself you must achieve this goal:
If this is just something that would be nice to do, you may find yourself in the 92% group before you know it. Did you know 80% of people give up on their resolutions by February? So, ask yourself, why must you make this change and achieve this goal? What would be so great about reaching it? What would be so awful if you didn’t?
3) Convince yourself the short term pain is worth the long term gain:
Every time we change it hurts. Why do you think so many people stay in their comfort zone and never change? Prepare for the pain, expect it, and get 100% clear on the long term gain that will come if you stick with it. Check out this post on how to use pleasure and pain to your advantage.
4) Have a laser focus:
Pick the top 2 or 3 things that are most important to you. Long lists will sabotage your success for any of them. Remember, you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. We can only change so much, so fast. You also may need to choose to let some less important things slide, so you can focus on what’s vital.
5) Start small and then go big:
I know all the gurus tell you to make massive change, to go big or go home. Well, the gurus are wrong. If you make your goal too big and you feel like you’re failing, you may get discouraged and quit. Don’t get me wrong. Setting big goals is an awesome thing to do. Just don’t let the size of them paralyze you from taking action. Don’t become discouraged because you didn’t change the world in a day.
Instead, take your big goal and break it down. Create smaller goals and benchmarks to get there at the week, month, 3 month, 6 month, and year mark. Take those smaller goals and create daily action plans to reach them. Write new daily action plans each week. Take action every day and watch your small steps turn into something BIG.
6) Make it real easy to measure your success:
How can you tell when you reach your goal? Definite and measurable goals are what work. How can you do this with goals that are difficult to measure? Can you break down a goal, project or task into measurable parts?
7) Get Accountable:
Find a trustworthy, supportive friend and agree to be each other’s accountability partners. Check in at least once a week with each other to make sure you’re staying on track.
Set up mini-goals and celebrate every time you hit one. Refocus on why you’re doing this and keep going. That’s how you start small and then go big.
Bonus: Make sure you’re going after the right stuff:
Before you start, you need to know exactly what you want. What’s most important to you and why? Here’s one way to start figuring it out.
Your mission tonight… if you choose to accept it.
Spend one half hour of your limited time writing down what your best life would look like. Done correctly, this is an extremely uplifting exercise. Just organizing and prioritizing your best life can increase your happiness, optimism, and belief that you can accomplish your goals.
When you answer these questions, remember, you’re in Fantasyland. No limits. That’s when our best ideas come.
- If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time?
- What would your perfect day look, feel, sound, smell, taste, and be like? Describe it in as vivid detail as you can.
- What activities set your soul on fire?
- What would you do if it were impossible to fail?
- What would your career be?
- What would your marriage be like?
- What would your income be?
- How much free time would you have?
- Where would you live?
- How many people could you help?
- What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?
- What type of relationships would you have with your children?
- What would your relationship be with God?
- Where would you travel for vacations?
- How many vacations would you take each year?
- What would you have crossed off your bucket list?
- How much would you give away to charity each year?
- What would your spiritual life be like?
- Where would you volunteer?
- How much would you weigh?
- What would your physical health be?
- Would you play an instrument, speak a foreign language, or know how to dance?
- What groups would you belong to?
- How would you treat people?
- How would people treat you?
These are just some questions to get you started. Come up with some of your own and design your best life.
Question for comments: What questions do you need to ask yourself to get to your best life?