It is Christmastime and a time to be grateful. It is also the end of the year, and time to take stock of what you have done and what you want to do in the coming year. How did you do achieving your goals in the past year? A University of Scranton study concluded only about 45% regularly make New Years Resolutions, and of that group, only 18% actually achieve their goals. The study also found out that people who make explicit New Years Resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
There are lots of reasons people don’t achieve their resolutions. If you scan the various articles that come up on the topic, you can see the reasons boil down to two things: Focus and Belief. Focus looks at keeping one’s mind on one’s goals. Reasons/excuses such as failing to plan, poor time management, or not having the resources to fullfil your resolution are Focus issues. Focus requires two things: Clarity and Consistency. While people may have some idea of what they want, if it isn’t “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) they are not likely to achieve it. Consistency comes from regularly reviewing your plan and taking action.
Belief is the other major reason people fail to realize their resolutions, belief, is manifested in giving up, going alone, and doing things for the wrong reasons. Often our lack of belief comes because we have failed to achieve our big goals and dreams in the past. We know we “should” have big goals because all humans want a better life than they currently have, but setting and then not following through and achieving your goals can be worse for your psyche than not making goals or resolutions at all. That is why half of Americans don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. There is nothing wrong with “thinking big” or “dreaming,” but in the end, if you don’t believe you can attain the goal, for whatever reason, you will not really do the work you need to do to achieve your goals.
Here are ten ideas that can help you move toward achieving your New Year’s Resolutions or any other goals you might make during the coming year:
- Learn to trust yourself through small promises/goals. Many people don’t believe they can achieve big things because they don’t follow through on the small things. Start by making small promises to yourself and keeping them.
- Learn how to effectively goal set. It isn’t hard to set SMART goals. Here is a formula you can follow to get clear goals you can then start working on to achieve.
- Keep an eye on your priorities. Make a list of your top priorities and look at it two or three times a day. Regularly reminding yourself about what is important will help you avoid distractions that can take you off track.
- Keep a scrapbook related to your goals. Clip out articles and tips on your goals. Not only will it help you keep your mind on your goals, you might find ideas that will help you achieve them quicker.
- Discover your purpose in life. Knowing what you were “born to do” and keeping your goals aligned with it will help you keep the motivation to succeed. Not sure about your purpose? Look at Richard Bowles’ What Color Is Your Parachute, chapter 6. Even if you aren’t looking for a new job this year, his exercises help you understand you, your passions, and your purpose.
- Unleash the power of your Unconscious Mind. When you run into problems along the way to achieving your goals, don’t just whine and complain about it. Rather, ask yourself these two questions: “What is the real problem here? What opportunity does it present?” Focusing on solving the problem and moving forward will get you much further than complaining.
- Develop an Achievement Mindset. As you go about your work ask yourself, “will this task help me move closer to my goals?” When spending money, ask “will this purchase help me achieve my goal?” Avoiding time and money wasters is a double bonus because you free up that time/money for your goals, and you don’t waste it.
- Review your activity regularly. If you don’t review, you cannot know if you are on track, or which corrections might be the best. Failing to review can also save you time. You will discover things to avoid and other things you should do more of, but only if you take the time to review.
- Celebrate along the way. It takes time to achieve big goals, and discouragement can set in. But, big victories are the result of many smaller victories. Taking a little time and effort to celebrate your small victories along the way will help remind you of the even bigger celebration that will be yours when you achieve those really big goals.
- Learn to be grateful. When things are not going according to plan it is easy to doubt and fear. Developing an attitude of gratitude will help you to overcome fear. Gratitude is faith in action. Action is the only cure for fear. So, when you are discouraged, think about the things you have to be grateful for, and then take immediate action. Soon your fear will flee and you’ll be back on track to achieving your goals.
Would you like some help applying these steps to your goals in the New Year? Why not join one of the Goal Achievement Bootcamp sessions I am offering starting January 2nd? You can get details here about the program.
…and if you have other ideas that can help people set and achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, why don’t you add a comment to this post?
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
always with gratitude,