It’s New Year’s Eve eve and it seems that this year more than ever, everyone is ready to turn the page on 2020. The vaccine is the light at the end of the long tunnel that we have all been waiting for. Something about entering a new year makes us all feel hopeful for new beginnings and has us all looking for changes. New Year’s Eve is not only a chance to celebrate (quietly at home this year), but also a chance for a fresh start, which is why we set New Year’s resolution.
Even though we all know the depressing stats that most resolutions fail before the end of January, we still set them because we are looking to make changes in our lives. Why does it feel so hard to stick with it? One of the big reasons that resolutions will fail is because we too often focus on the outcome instead of taking the time to understand the process and work that goes into getting what we want.
“Nothing changes until you do”. -Harvey Smith
Instead of focusing on what we want, like a new car, being 10 lbs lighter, or getting a promotion at work, we should focus on the life we want to live. Do I want to take more certifications for work, cook and eat at home more, work longer hours, work less hours?
When setting goals and resolutions, ask yourself what does it take to get there and then ask then yourself again if this is something you are prepared to do. Does this goal/resolution align with the lifestyle I want and my personal values?
If you expect to get rich by winning the lottery or get slim by doing a cleanse, I have some bad news for you.
Since I am in the nutrition space, let’s pretend that you want to lose 20 pounds in 2021 and keep it off. This will entail more than a 30 day challenge or a juice cleanse. You will need to adopt the habits of someone who is 20 pounds lighter, and likely not just for 30 days.
- You might need to start cooking more meals at home.
- Packing your lunch to work.
- Eat protein at every meal.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Be more active every day, taking the stairs more, get 8000+ daily steps.
- Go to the gym regularly every week.Or find another physical activity you enjoy and make that a part of your routine.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Find ways to manage your stress other than food and alcohol.
You don’t need to do a complete 360 and change everything in one day. But change is needed in order to get new results. This is not about going hard and then fading away, but more about building a lifestyle that you can sustain while also getting the results that you want. The best way to do this is incrementally; maybe you start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier every night, or start eating protein with every meal.
We all know the depressing statistic that 80% of resolutions will fail, but I remain an optimist and I still love setting new goals myself. In my business as a coach, I have actually seen many people succeed. What do the successful peeps all have in common?
- They believed they could.
- They had accountability.
- They were focused on the process, not just the outcome.
You need to believe in yourself and believe that you are capable of achieving this goal. I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out. The most widely shared fear is that we are not good enough. That we are not deserving of success. And if you have tried and failed to set a new year’s resolution many times in the past, it becomes hard to truly believe that this time will be different. We have deep rooted, limiting beliefs and it’s very hard to turn off that nagging voice in your head and start to believe in yourself. If you want to dive more into this, may I suggest a very good book: Mindset – Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential by Carol Dweck. This book was instrumental for me in my coaching and personal development. We believe in what we tell ourselves, therefore in order to accomplish your new year’s goals, you need to change your inner narrative.
Big changes don’t happen easily. They require change, and consistent actions that are different than what you are currently doing. That will not only be hard, but also uncomfortable. You need a clear plan of action and the ability to stick with it, even when it’s not easy. This is when having a coach on your side to guide you, support you and keep you accountable can be invaluable. Some will succeed on their own, but for most the actions required for change are so out of their comfort zone that doing them alone can be incredibly challenging. The bigger the goal, the more that outside support can make a difference, especially after the initial excitement fades. Even just having a friend on your side or small group of accountability buddies can make a big difference. Don’t want to hire a coach? Share your goals with your friends and family and ask for their support.
Success has little to do with the goals we set and nearly everything to do with the systems we follow. Setting a goal is only the first step, setting a plan with systems and habits is what will get you there. Most of your energy should be placed on the process and daily habits needed to succeed. Goals have a place, they can help you start the process; but it’s the system you develop that will help you actually make progress.
Add Atomic Habits by James Clear to your reading list if you want to really dive into this. He does a really good job of breaking down the framework that you need to succeed.
So, be optimistic with me: sit down and ask yourself, what do I really want for 2021? Then, take your time, do an inventory of where you are right now, your current habits and your current values, and let’s see if we can make a strong action plan for you to succeed.
I believe in you.