Happy New Year! This is the time of year when many individuals are excited about their New Year’s Resolutions or goals. Some people have become so disappointed at setting goals and then not meeting them, that they have given up even creating New Year’s Resolutions.
I want to share with you some ways to be more successful than traveling the traditional route of New Year’s Resolutions.
First, I want to tell you why most people give up on their resolutions or goals by January 21st of each year.
One major reason people quit their goals is they try to make too many changes all at once. It’s tough enough to change one habit let alone multiple habits at the same time. If the goals are to quit smoking, stop drinking, and eliminate desserts, it’s easy to see why someone will decide it’s too big of a mountain to climb and quit.
Another reason people quit goals is the need for instant gratification. While it may have taken 10 years to put on an extra 20 pounds, we want to lose them in 30 days. If we haven’t lost half the weight in 15 days, it’s not working and time to quit.
One other major reason for quitting is the failure to factor in sacrifice. For any goal to be achieved, for someone to get a different result, something must be done differently. Yes, the goal may be to go to the gym every day. However, this takes time that was previously spent doing something else. Does this mean there will be less time for napping? Less time for watching TV? If the goal is to put in more time at the office for a promotion, what will be given up? Less family time? Less time on the golf course?
While there are countless reasons why people quit on their goals and choose to “wait until next year” one final major reason for quitting a goal is because the goal is out of their control. If your goal is to be promoted on the job, it is not a good goal because your supervisor makes the decision. You can do everything in your power to demonstrate the worthiness of the promotion, however, the final decision is out of your hands.
Now that we know why people quit, let me share some insights on how you can get off the “Quit Train” feeling like a failure, and instead be happy and proud as you strive towards your goals.
Yes, S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based) goals are good, IF, you are consistent, willing to sacrifice, and committed. The reality is most people are not.
The first step is to quit focusing on the end results. It’s true, if you don’t know what you want, you won’t know when you get it. People that only focus on the results are generally disappointed. However, people don’t have to reach goals to be happy. They only need progress!
The man that wants to lose 100 lbs. doesn’t wait until he’s lost it all to be happy. When he steps on the scale and sees the first 5 lbs. lost, he knows what he’s doing is working and continues to strive forward. It’s when we don’t see progress that we become discouraged and quit.
The second step is to realize that for things to change, you must change. This means in your daily activities. If you are trying to achieve a different result, to be successful, it must involve something you do on a daily basis.
Part of this realization is that success is not a one-time big event. Success comes from the daily routine, mundane decisions made over an extended period of time.
For example, an individual that decides to write a book. If the decision is to wait until he/she has a week or month to write, the chances the book is completed are highly unlikely. However, if the individual decides to write 2-3 pages every morning between 5:30-7:00 AM, the chances for success are inevitable.
The third step is to focus on daily progress. If you focus on progress, on your daily activities, the results will take care of themselves.
Part of this focus is to understand that who you become in the pursuit of a goal is more important than achieving the goal.
Let’s say for example you want to lose 20 lbs. The real goal isn’t necessarily 20 lbs. It could be you want to be healthier, that you want to reduce your risk of becoming diabetic, or that you want to reduce the weight on your arthritic knees.
In your attempt to lose weight, you may increase muscle mass causing you to gain weight, however, you lower your blood pressure, reduce your sugar intake, and strengthen the muscles around your knees reducing pain significantly. You don’t achieve your goal of losing 20 lbs. but become a healthier person in the process.
The final step is to measure your daily activities. Regardless of your goal, you only need to see daily progress in very small doses to feel good about yourself and to know you are moving towards your desired outcome.
There will be days that you aren’t as good as you were yesterday. It’s okay. The goal is to be just a little better tomorrow than today.
If you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake and you eat dessert daily, instead of trying to completely quit, where you feel deprived, start with a small daily change. Today, leave one bite of the pie on the plate. If you can do that for a week, then spend a week leaving two bites on the plate. It’s all about progress. It’s all about creating a small daily commitment. It’s about developing the skill of consistency.
Remember, there is greatness within you. You must choose greatness. It won’t develop on its own. I believe in you!
“It’s not what you have to do, rather it’s who you must become to achieve your goals.”
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If you would like assistance with developing plans for consistency and progress, I can help you. We can meet by phone, on Zoom, or in a place you deem safe with social distancing. Whether you choose me or someone else, a coach will expedite your results.
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Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach
Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results
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