Imagine This: It’s the end of December and you’ve made a list of things you want to change and you’re so excited for the 1st of January to hit because that’s when you’re going to start to be a better/thinner/healthier/happier/productive/self-driven/fill in the blank person! YES! Finally!
But then you glance at the calendar to see when this epic change is going to take place and you realize that the 1st of January falls on a Tuesday.
A TUESDAY! You can’t start on a Tuesday!
So, like any sane person wanting to make major life-changes, you go on living your life for the next 6 days as you did the entire year before. Monday hits, but now that you’ve lived in this new year for 6 days doing the same things you did before, it’s not all that bad, right?
You decide that you could go another year like this, or maybe you’ll start next week because you’re super busy this week…
…and then? It’s December again.
We’re Just Not Good At Keeping Them…
So why do we get stuck in this cycle? Or, why do we, like 80% of Americans, fail by the second week in February?
Well, according to the Journal of Health and Science, the University of Maryland, countless psychologists, studies, individual experiences, and more research than you could read in a lifetime, we just aren’t that good at making them.
But before you give up entirely, there IS hope. Just because you didn’t follow through before or gave up too easily, doesn’t mean that this year has to be the same. We’re gonna tell you WHY you haven’t been succeeding and then tell you how you can make some small changes and really become the person you want to in 2018.
3 Things Holding You Back From the NEW You
1. Your resolutions are unspecific, unrealistic, and based on will-power — not systems.
According to Ramit Sethi, humans have an odd quirk:
Consider this insight, I discovered during the research of one of my courses: In an interesting quirk of human behavior, we would rather continue doing something that doesn’t work rather than try something new that COULD work — but also could fail.
They’re unspecific. We say “I want to get healthy this year” but when faced with the birthday parties in March, the overtime in June, and the family vacation in August, that goal falls by the wayside.
They’re unrealistic. “I want to go the gym 5x/week.” Really? You averaged twice a month last year. Setting unrealistic, highly aspirational goals is a quick way to guilt and failure.
They’re based on willpower, not systems. We say, “I want to walk more” instead of parking our car 10 minutes away. We say, “I want to stop messing around and go to sleep earlier” instead of testing different ways of falling asleep (like leaving our laptop in the other room, unplugging our TV, quietly covering our partner’s face with a pillow, etc). Hey, it’s a test.
Ramit goes on to say that because we keep letting ourselves down and not following through, we tend to distrust ourselves. We establish patterns and who knows us better than we know ourselves?
2. You go it alone.
Whether it’s losing weight, eating better, or going to the gym more often, don’t go it alone. Having a buddy or a team to work toward your goals with creates accountability, which is essential for success.
In a recent Forbes article, working alongside someone can help define reality (say goodbye to unrealistic goal setting!)AND breeds trust. Because keeping someone accountable or being accountable to someone else forces us to trust that person enough to be honest with them about the direction we’re going.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be more, do more, and have more. Don’t partner up with someone who isn’t going to be your biggest cheerleader. Choose someone who has common goals and has your best interest at heart — no one likes angry energy-sucking vampires.
3. You don’t have a plan and you don’t track your progress
The best resolutions are those that are backed up with actual action steps! Want to lose weight? What’s your plan? What do you plan on eating? Are you going to exercise?
Yes? How often?
People set themselves up for failure because they commit to a resolution. If you are planning on improving your health this year have you made a plan? Are you using a system? Is it proven? Don’t be one of those who fail this year because you’ve set unrealistic and unspecific goals.