Everyone right over the past week or so has set up their “new years resolutions” in an effort to try and better themselves this year.
While this is a great concept we have some major flaws with it and I bet almost everyone making resolutions will fall victim (if you haven’t already) to one of these. I’m sure there is a great number of people who want to “lose weight” or “stop smoking”, “start working out”, or “spend more time with loved ones” and it will happen, if your lucky, for the first 3 months…
…Then like the cancellation rate of a continuity program people start dropping like flies.
Why does this happen? One may ask. I’m sure there is a ton of pshyco bable that I could dig up as to why that is a magic number but there really is one simple answer:
You don’t have a good enough reason to stick with your resolution!
In other words, it really was just something you wanted to do, instead of something you feel you must do.
Take for instance starting a business vs. going to your dead end job every day. A great number of people want to start their own business and become financially secure and be their own boss, yet only a small number actually do and those are the people who know they MUST do it.
Now, think about how you get up day after day to go to a job you probably don’t love, dealing with people you definitely wouldn’t if you ran your own business. What makes someone do that when they have the great opportunity to start their own business? Its the feeling that they MUST go to work to pay for their bills, house, and keep their family fed.
So what does this mean for you and your crappy new years resolutions?
Well young grasshoppa, you need to find a way to gain leverage on yourself and make the things you want to do this year into things you must do this year.
For instance, lets say you want to lose weight. First and foremost you need to get clear on what you actually must do, and “lose weight” is way to ambigious.
Step one: Get Clear
We want to lose weight so we are going to put a measurable number and timeline to that. Lets say you want to lose 25 lbs by june so you look half way decent on the beach this summer. That makes our resolution measurable by weight (25lbs) and time (6 months).
Step Two: Think Negative
Yep, I said it – negative. You need to think of how bad you will feel and all the worst things when you don’t reach this goal. For example you could tell yourself: “well I will be letting down my loved ones and family because I said this would happen”, or “if I don’t lose 25 lbs people will stare at me and call me fat when I’m on the beach this summer”. Also make sure to really make your problem sound worse, 25 pounds extra makes a person look “thick” or “chunky” but if you tell yourself that you are fat …that just sounds a lot more harsh, so keep in mind the words you use on yourself, they will help.
Step Two and a half: Get Leverage
You need to then take all the pain and frustration you feel from the negativity and make that become what drives you. it really needs to be powerful enough so that when you feel like you don’t want to work out today the pain of having people make fun of you, and you letting down your family is just too much for you to bear and that will drive you to work on your resolution.
Another way to get leverage that works for some people is monetary. You will need someone in your life that you can trust and that wants to see you succeed, but wont let you get away with anything. You then write them a check for an amount of money that makes you feel uncomfortable, weather it be $100, $1000, or more. Then everyday you need to check in with this person and make sure you are heading for your goal. If they don’t hear from you then they get to cash the check.
And Finally Step 3: Take Action
I’m sure you have heard more times than you would like that you need to take action, but really that is what separates people who get what they must have and the people who are always stuck wanting a lot of things.
Make sure right when you set your goal you take some immediate massive action. You want to lose 25lbs by June? then go right now take all of the clothes that fit you last summer and throw them in the fireplace. Do it! Now you have no choice but to lose weight because you have no more fat clothes. Throw out any food you know you should not be eating now that your going to start being more healthy; then call and set an appointment for a physical trainer and nutritionist for the next day.
Now after you have taken your massive action you need to set aside time everyday to take consistent actions to reach your goals. Get up every morning and go for a walk before you start your day, visit your trainer 5 times a week, and the nutritionist as much as you have to. Keep a picture up of yourself or someone you admire who has the body you want to have and put it in a place you will see it on a daily basis (mine are above my computer monitors). They will remind you of the things you must do and help you reach your goals.
I hope this little journey helped you to learn why your resolutions suck and what you can do to make them into tangable, attainable goals.
Post your New Years resolutions or goals below and let me know what your doing to make sure they MUST happen!