We are well into January and if you haven’t already flopped your New Year’s resolutions you have probably cheated at least once. So by now you know New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work! But don’t feel bad, you are not the problem (this is the one time when you’re probably okay with the “it’s not you it’s me” explanation). The reason is that New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure from the start and here are 3 reasons why:
- New Year’s resolutions are made during a high peak emotional season. It’s New Year’s for goodness sake! The holidays make most people highly emotional. Reminds them of things/people lost, you start thinking of what could or should be, add that financial stress and you have the set up for a perfect storm.
- New Year’s resolutions tend to be Extreme! Because they are created during such emotional times resolutions tend to be set very high without a plan of action. When there are no visible results it all seems impossible leaving you disappointed.
- New Year’s resolutions don’t last. Once you feel disappointed after not being able to see results to the highly unrealistic expectation you set for yourself you will start to slack off until you drop your resolutions completely as an impossible dream.
So you see, New Year’s Resolutions are a complete waste of time, so don’t make them! HOWEVER – there’s always a but isn’t there?! – instead of making a “New Year’s Resolution” take the time to set goals for yourself for the new year. And no, it is not the same thing. While the intentions are the same the execution of it is completely different. I, for one, am a firm believer that the road to hell was paved with good intentions. While you mean well by setting New Year’s resolutions what you should be doing is waiting after the tumultuous time of the holiday season is over and take a good look at your situation. Assess where you are, where you were and where you want to be. This gives you a bit of perspective from a realistic non emotionally charged setting that can lead you to identify action steps to accomplish your goals for the year. Just as I gave you 3 reasons New Year’s Resolutions do not work, I can give you 3 Ways to Help You Meet Your Goals:
- Identify long term and short term goals you want to accomplish. After taking a good look at yourself and what you want list those things you want to accomplish this year and moving forward. For example: Buying a Home or getting out of debt tend to be long term goals that can take more than a year. While a short term goal can be getting more exercise.
- Set action steps for each goal. Once you have identified your long term and short term goals, identify specific smaller action steps you can take for each of the goals daily,weekly and/or monthly to get closer to the goal. So, if your goal is to buy a home, maybe every week you will save a certain amount of money to put towards a down payment. If your goal is to get more exercise one action step can be walking more or going to the gym once a week.
- Make yourself accountable by making your goals visible. Whether you make your goals your desktop wallpaper or you place post-it notes on your mirror, make sure that every week you look at what you’re working towards. I like putting an index card with my goals and weekly action steps on my mirror, this served as a reminder. If you have a close trusted friend/partner/spouse they can also help you be accountable by reminding you of your goals when your actions or talk seem to be diverging. Not only making your goals & action steps visible make you accountable for them but it is also encouraging to see how each of those steps you check off are getting you closer to your
Fear Not!! If you already flopped your New Year’s Resolution, you don’t have to wait until next year to start over. Now that all the hussle and bussle of the holidays are gone you can take an honest look at yourself and start working towards what you want now. Because just like the movie title remember, Tomorrow Never Comes. You need to start Today!