Quit making new years resolutions. Make a plan instead.
We've all heard it, "New Year's resolutions don't work." So then why are so many of us still obsessed with creating them? For most of us, past experience teaches us that our resolutions mean nothing by February (or maybe by January 10th). But, what if resolutions did work? What if you could actually achieve your goal or reach that on which you've set your sights?
There is a secret ingredient in the sauce that allows your resolutions to grow and flourish into the dreams you imagine. Before we share this key ingredient, let's start with the best method, the recipe we'll call it, for making a successful New Year's resolution.
- Focus in. Choose one, maybe two things, you want to accomplish, and shorten your timeline. We like 12 week "spurts" of focused intensity on a specific goal or two. Make sure you pick no more than two. An example of this may be to lose the weight you gained in 2020. Decide how much weight you want to lose in the first 12 weeks of this coming year. For this example, let's say you want to lose 15 pounds.
- What has to be true? What has to be true for you to achieve the outcome you desire - to lose those 15 pounds? Maybe you need to eat less. Maybe you need to join a gym. Maybe you need to go for a walk every day. Maybe you need accountability. Maybe you need to buy a scale and track your weight every week. Maybe you will avoid alcohol or sugar.
- Break it down. Bite-size pieces will go down a lot easier than one ginormous bite. What are you going to do daily and weekly to make sure you are making progress in the right direction? This is where the rubber meets the road. You must take what your thoughts were in Step #2 and create action steps, or little "habits," you will incorporate into your daily/weekly life to ensure progress. Write these down and schedule them in your calendar, phone, etc.
- Do it. If you consistently do the daily habits you scheduled, you will make progress toward your goal. And, you'll lead the pack in terms of actually achieving what you put your mind to.
So. What exactly is the secret ingredient that makes this work?.... Discomfort.
Want to know why most people's resolutions fail? Yes; it is because they don't have a plan. But, even more, prevailing is their avoidance of discomfort. Know this, friend, you will not achieve your goal if you don't accept some level of discomfort. You must be willing to give up some comforts to see your resolution come true: You may feel hungry. You may need a drink at the end of a long day. You may want to skip your workout and snooze your alarm. Don't give in. Don't give up on your resolutions. Be disciplined. Be uncomfortable.