New Year New You!
How many times have you said this? There is going to be a lot of noise about how useless new years resolutions are. This is not one of these post. Yes, statistic say that 80% of new years resolution will fail and that may be so, but I am not here to poo poo on your parade. I do still think there is a lot of values in setting goals, there are a lot of hopes in new beginnings, and the New Year lends itself perfectly to a fresh start. Heck we are even starting a new decade, how can one not be filled with hopes and dreams. It’s human nature to look to Mondays, and New Years to want to start a new and re-write the script.
“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”Vern McLellan
Why do most resolutions fail?
- They are not clear enough. You need to be clear about your goals. Meaning too often we set goals on things we think we should want, but not really our true desire. If you don’t really want it, it will be all too easy to give up when the going gets tough. Uncertainty about your goals creates room for indifference, confusion, and distance between your goals and your actions.
- You take on too much at once. Don’t be overly excited and take on more than necessary. You can’t go from eating take out most nights to cooking ALL your meals overnight. If you try to make too big of a change all at once you are more likely to feel overwhelmed and quit. Start small, build on your success. Change is hard, ease into it.
- You are impatient. We want everything now! And when results don’t come fast enough our motivation fizzles and we quit. Not only do we need to be clear on why we want something, I think it’s important to understand the real work that goes into achieving said goal. Success will not come overnight, if something is important to you, you can’t quit at the first bump in the road. Relying on motivation is always going to be a losing battle, you need to rely on the strength of your habits and processes.
- You are not ready to change. If you find yourself with a continuous lack of connection between your motivation and your dedication, it doesn’t mean your goals are not representative of your dreams and wishes. It simply means that right now, they are not the most important to you. Be honest with yourself here too.
How can we do better?
Conventional wisdom says that the best way to achieve what we want in life is by setting specific actionable goals. Turns out your results have very little to do with the goals you set, but everything to do with the system you follow (adapted from “Atomic Habits” by James Clear).
“Goals are about the results you want to achieve, systems are the process that will lead you to those results.”James Clear.
In my coaching I speak a lot about daily habits and building consistency. There is still value in setting goals and making a resolution as these will give you direction. But then you must take it a step further and set a plan in motion. The power of atomic habits is they should be small enough and easy to do and overtime will have an incredible power.
The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner. If you identify yourself as a runner, running 5 days a week just becomes what you do, you no longer have to think about it. The goal is not to lose 10 lbs, the goal is to become a person that not only sheds the weight but maintain the results. You need to start seeing yourself as the kind of person that loses the weight and successfully keeps it off. Too many times we come in the way of our own success by being too attached to our old identity and resisting change. We fail because we don’t truly believe we can succeed.
Our habits whether good or bad serve us on some level. You need to figure out what you get out of them before you can go and change them.
- “I am not good at meal planning.
- “I don’t have time to cook”.
- “I eat my emotions.”
- “I always drink too much on weekends.”
- “I always skip my workouts when I don’t get enough sleep.”
By becoming too attached to our identity we use them to give ourselves an easy way out. Your current habits are not necessarily the best way to solve the problems you face, they are just the methods you learned to use. You can re-write the script here.
- “I grocery shop on Sundays and chop vegetables for the week.’
- “I make time to cook.”
- “I journal for 5 minutes before reaching for snacks. “
- “I make social plans on weekend that don’t involve drinking.”
- “I am in bed by 10pm on week nights to get my 7 + hours of sleep.”
Start aligning your actions with your desired outcome, repeat the positive habits often and over time you will reinforce your new identity and become the person you wish to be. That simple! Now go. Just kidding, I am not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.
Wishing you peace love and happiness in 2020.