Every new year, millions of Americans will set out on a quest to accomplish new goals. Oftentimes referred to as New Year’s Resolutions, these new goals mostly pertain to finances, health, happiness and relationships.
While the gym sales associates are bracing for their busy season and you are left scrambling to grab your last few Christmas gifts, I have a recommendation for you: Don’t be part of the 92% that fail to actually accomplish their resolution.
92% Failure Rate
According to an article on New Year’s Resolutions on Huffington Post, 92% of resolutions fail. In fact, between life distractions, excuses and setting the bar too high, 80% of people will fail by the second week of February.
With that in mind, here are some recommendations to keep your resolution for the first time in your life, how to quickly bounce back in the case that maybe you slip up, and some proven strategies that actually work.
7 Strategies to keep your New Year’s Resolution.
Before I go any further here will be my first recommendation: Have an open mind about the changes you aim to make. For starters, realize that a goal to lose weight or pay off debt does not happen overnight. Way too many people set the bar high and in conjunction with the microwave society we have grown accustomed to, are let down when they don’t lose 4 pounds in a day.
#1 Read Compound Effect
Written by Darren Hardy, Compound Effect is a phenomenal read for anyone! I just finished it and in fact I think so highly of it I have included the link to buy it right here. It might be the best $13.00 you ever spent on yourself. I am not paid by Mr. Hardy to promote this, but if you buy it and read it you can actually stop reading this post and congrats you will be happy you took my advice (Just consider sharing this post with a friend). Remember the best investment is always in yourself.
I will be honest the book is very straight forward and it lays out how to finally accomplish goals, end bad habits and what true success looks like. Here is a sample if you are looking to lose weight:
“Simply cutting or adding 125 calories a day for an extended period of time can be the difference in losing or gaining 33 pounds. For example, if one person ate 125 calories less and another ate 125 calories more, in the course of 940 days that would be 117,500 calories or 33.5 pounds.
#2 Don’t set the bar so high.
This is the common pitfall for most New Year’s Resolutions – people go from zero to hero. Ever heard this, “I am going to eat healthy this year, lose weight and work out more”. Yet the person saying it hasn’t worked out in a year, eats junk food for lunch and hasn’t even begun to research healthy eating habits.
They pack their lunch the first day back to work, grab new running shoes and tell everyone they are on a mission. By the following Thursday they haven’t worked out in 3 days because they are sore, they forgot to pack so they grab fast food and they rationalise eating the cake at work.
Instead of setting yourself up for failure, why don’t you start small. If your goal is to save more money, read my Pay Yourself First article, and set a small goal, like saving $200 from every paycheck.
Maybe you have some health goals, However, instead of saying you will, insert any cool exercise trend here, maybe consider adding 2 workouts into your calendar per week if you are someone who has not worked out in ages.
Often, this is the step that trips up most people. They are excited for the new year, they have a million goals, they set the bar high, they don’t have a plan and before they know it their back to their same routines. First, you need a plan, which leads me to #3.
#3 Have a Plan
Don’t wing your resolution like everything else. Vague resolutions like eating better or saving more are already giving you a scape goat. With not actual strategy or plan, chances are you will be part of the 92% who fail in no time.
Not being pessimistic, but if you have a 9/10 chance of failing and you shrugged off #1, I will wish you the best of luck. Besides reading, having a plan can be super simple to do, but just as easy not to do and ignore. Huge mistake! The small daily actions compounded over time achieve the huge weight loss or huge savings account, not the home run.
Lose weight = how many calories less each day? What is the weekly goal for miles?
Eating healthy = how many meals do you aim to attack ? (Start with 1 a day)
Save more = how much each check
Be nicer = how many nice things will you say each day
Less stress = what are you eliminating?
Less social media = did you delete the apps on your phone ? (I did)
Better parent = what is the #1 strategy for you to do this?
Catch my trend here? It is not rocket science, it is not some super crazy plan, it is just something simple that needs to be written down. Find something to write with, write down the area you aim to improve in, and write down some simple action steps to do so.
Wait… what is #4?
So I aim to do something a little different with my blog post today. I decided that this is a seriously super important post. More and more today people let themselves off the hook easily, they are wishy washy about doing anything that involves some change and most of the time they never stretch themselves out of their comfort zone.
I could write about money and strategies for months, however the most common theme most successful people have = consistent behavior.
Because of all this, I decided to make this a 2 part series. Today is part 1, on Thursday I will release part 2, which will consist of the last 4 steps.
Between tracking, bouncing back, not always using dates to start new goals, and learning NOT to be easily distracted, I feel as steps 1-3 are great starting points and steps 4-7 are great maintenance tips for your goals.
I recently tweeted this:
Keeping the above in mind and laying out a a game-plan using steps 1-3 you WILL get the results you have striven for. Go write down your goals as if you have accomplished them, order Compound Effect (someone told me if you google The Compound Effect PDF its available), and check out part 2 here!