Christmas is over. The next thing on everyone’s list: the New Year, and that means New Year’s resolutions. How many times have you heard people say they’re going to lose weight and get fit? Or what about that they’re going to make more money, read more books, giveback to the community and be nicer to people? The list goes on and on.
The truth is people have great intentions. Everyone wants to live a better life in one way or another. The problem: most people don’t succeed when it comes to accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions because they don’t have a game plan. They say they want to do all these things, but they haven’t figured out how they’re going to do it. Some people don’t even know where to begin.
Before you jump in and start working on those 2017 goals, make sure and follow these 10 steps.
1. Expect the obstacles. Most people run into a challenge or obstacle and seek immediate escape. Have a plan to push forward when this happens. If you’re not ready to suffer during adversity, you’re not going to be successful. You need to know going in that making a change is going to be hard work, not a walk in the park.
2. Don’t focus on how to do it, but rather, why should I do it. Why do I want this goal to become a reality? The intensity of emotion with which this question is answered will determine whether the dream comes alive or dies. When you have a strong ‘why,’ you are much more likely to succeed.
3. Get really clear about what you want to change. Vagueness doesn’t work with goal setting. Don’t just say “I want to lose weight,” but get really specific and say, “By March 1, I want to lose 15 pounds. I’m going to eat well, exercise each day and get really committed to doing this once and for all.”
4. Set a timeline. Setting a timeline helps avoid procrastination. The way the mind works, a timeline gives you something to strive for.
5. It’s all or nothing. It sounds harsh, but 99% compliance is failure. You either go after your goals with 100% effort, or don’t bother trying. Don’t have an ‘I’m going to try when I feel like it’ attitude. Instead, make your goal your passion every single day until you achieve it.
6. It’s not about winning, but wanting to win that counts. Winners have a “whatever it takes” attitude. They’ve made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory.
7. Get an accountability buddy. One of the biggest problems is that most people have no means of accountability or a support system in place. Go after your goals with a partner who really makes you push yourself. Even better, find someone who has already achieved what you are setting out after and have them coach you.
8. Focus on your self-talk. Be careful what you say to yourself, because your thoughts dictate your behavior. So much of what we say to ourselves is negative, so don’t give into the negative thoughts that the goal is impossible. Keep asking yourself, “How can I make this happen?”
9. Seeing is believing. A vision board helps keep you motivated because it helps you see the end result of the goal you’re trying to achieve. If you want to lose weight, for example, cutout pictures of really fit people and tape them on a poster board. Hang the vision board in a very visible location. This will reinforce the goals into your subconscious and help you push forward on those tough days. You can also write a letter describing your life to a friend detailing the way you want things to be a year from now. Read the letter anytime you need a lift-me-up.
10. Ignore the naysayers. There will be people who say you can’t do it and that you should just leave well enough alone. Drop your addiction to the approval of others, ignore them and keep pushing forward. Achieving world-class success in anything means believing in yourself no matter what others think or say.
Above all else this January 1, remember the mantra of successful people: I am responsible. Whether it’s losing weight, making more money or any other goal, you are ultimately responsible for your success or failure. However, if you keep these tips in mind and approach your resolutions like you would any serious event in your life, there’s no reason you can’t be successful. Happy New Year and good luck!