You probably already knew what I was talking about with the “click-baity” title. But, in case you didn’t pick it up, I’m talking about the one thing every human has broken. A New Years Resolution.
So, what’s the deal? Why do we always break these things? Why is it the running joke that every New Years resolution is ruined by February? Well, I don’t really have an answer. To each person, it’s a different reason. For some, the New Year goal was simply unmeasurable, or, the goal was defeated the moment you drove by McDonald’s on your way to the gym…
With this in mind, I’ve put together a short and simple list of things to do in order for us to break the habit… of breaking resolutions.
1. Set a Proper Goal
This is important. If you set a goal that is obviously out of reach then you won’t ever be motivated to achieve it. If you set a goal that you can accomplish within a week or less, you won’t have that feeling of accomplishment that comes from working hard to achieve something great.
For example, set the goal to go to the gym 4 times a week for an hour this year instead of setting the goal to lose 10 pounds. The “gym goal” may seem more difficult; however, it’s something you know you can accomplish. Setting a measurable goal helps to build healthier habits, better sleeping, and the pounds come rolling off because you set a goal that requires a definitive action.
2. Just Do It
Nike made it simple. At the end of the day, there is no magic pill, wonder potion, or hidden secret. Once you set a proper goal, you just have to go out and do it. The consistency of going to the gym for 20 minutes every day for a year will beat out 2-hour workouts for only one week every time.
If there is one thing that will help keep you in line… it’s finding a way to hold yourself accountable. Continuing with the gym theme, it’s a lot easier to keep your goal if you’ve set a specific time to meet a friend. Plus, it’s a lot better when you’ve got a buddy sharing a goal to make it feel like a team effort. It’s even been shown, through a study by the American Society for Training and Development, you can increase your chances of reaching your goal by 95% if you have set accountability appointments with another person.
4. Embrace Failure
This is the final and most important part of the “resolution keeping formula.”
Say you set the goal to go to the gym 4 times a week for an hour. Two weeks in, your one year old keeps you up all night… You’re exhausted. You only have had 2 hours of sleep. And you have work in 4 hours… It’s probably in your best interest to get the hours of rest over going to the gym. And just like that, you see your resolution wave at you as it jumps off a cliff. You failed. Your resolution is ruined.
Here is where most people just throw in the towel and jump off the cliff with their resolution. But, you aren’t like most people. This time, you realize that you are human and recognize humans aren’t perfect. You accept that you failed one day and you can get back on track the next. This persistence to achieve your goal will be the difference in whether you keep your resolution or not.
So, what’s the New Year Resolution you’re keeping this year??